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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Mar;188:223-8.

Lifetime suicide rates in treated schizophrenia: 1875-1924 and 1994-1998 cohorts compared.

Author information

1
North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, Hergest Unit, Bangor LL57 2PW, UK. Healy_Hergest@compuserve.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Recent interest in suicide rates in schizophrenia has been considerable.

AIMS:

To establish the lifetime suicide rate from the pre-chlorpromazine era and to compare this with recent lifetime suicide rates for schizophrenia.

METHOD:

We have compared suicide and suicide attempt rates for 741 admissions for schizophrenia and 1303 admissions for psychoses to the North Wales Asylum between 1875 and 1924, with first admissions for psychosis in NorthWest Wales between 1994 and 1998.

RESULTS:

The suicide rate in schizophrenia between 1875 and 1924 was 20 per 100 000 hospital years, a lifetime rate of less than 0.5%. The suicide rate for all psychoses was 16 per 100 000 hospital years. Current rates of suicide for schizophrenia and other psychoses appear 20-fold higher.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings point to an increase in suicide rates for patients with schizophrenia.

PMID:
16507962
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.188.3.223
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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