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Pharmacoepidemiol Drug Saf. 2007 Dec;16(12):1308-12.

Mortality in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Servíce Santé Publique, Faculté de Médecine, France.


Schizophrenia is a life-threatening disease associated with mortality rates that are two to three times higher than those expected/observed in the general population. It is associated with high levels of suicide, particularly in young male patients soon after diagnosis. Delays in treating schizophrenia could contribute to the high number of suicides during this period. However, approximately two-thirds of the excess mortality is caused by natural deaths. Patients with schizophrenia die from the same diseases as people in the general population. The number of deaths caused by cardiovascular disease, as in the general population, is high and could be reduced by the modification of certain lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise. Careful monitoring of patients' weight, blood pressure, blood glucose levels and serum lipid levels will not only provide an opportunity to educate patients about lifestyle choices that contribute to cardiovascular disease but will also give them a better chance of receiving early treatment for disorders that contribute to cardiovascular disease, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia. Careful selection of antipsychotic drugs, some of which are associated with side effects such as weight gain and cardiac disorders, will also help reduce co-morbidity and mortality among patients with schizophrenia.

Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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