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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;188:122-7.

Schizophrenia, neuroleptic medication and mortality.

Author information

1
Department of Social Psychiatry, Tampere School of Public Health, University of Tampere, FIN-33014, Finland. matti.joukamaa@uta.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is an excess of death from natural causes among people with schizophrenia.

AIMS:

Schizophrenia and its treatment with neuroleptics were studied for their prediction of mortality in a representative population sample of 7217 Finns aged >/= 30 years.

METHOD:

A comprehensive health examination was carried out at baseline. Schizophrenia was determined using the Present State Examination and previous medical records.

RESULTS:

During a 17-year follow-up, 39 of the 99 people with schizophrenia died. Adjusted for age and gender, the relative mortality risk between those with schizophrenia and others was 2.84 (95% CI 2.06-3.90), and was 2.25 (95% CI1.61-3.15) after further adjusting for somatic diseases, bloodpressure, cholesterol, body mass index, smoking, exercise, alcohol intake and education. The number of neuroleptics used at the time of the baseline survey showed a graded relation to mortality. Adjusted for age, gender, somatic diseases and other potential risk factors for premature death, the relative risk was 2.50 (95% CI1.46-4.30) per increment of one neuroleptic.

CONCLUSIONS:

There is an urgent need to ascertain whether the high mortality in schizophrenia is attributable to the disorder itself or the antipsychotic medication.

PMID:
16449697
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.188.2.122
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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