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J Insur Med. 2018;47(4):212-219. doi: 10.17849/insm-47-04-1-8.1. Epub 2019 Jan 17.

Mortality Rates and Excess Death Rates for the Seriously Mentally Ill.

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1 Mortality Research & Consulting, Inc., City of Industry, CA.
2 Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX.
3 Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, Pollok, TX.



-To compute mortality rates and excess death rates for patients with serious mental illness, specific to categories of gender, age and race/ethnicity.


-People with serious mental illness are known to be at greatly increased risk of mortality across the lifespan. However, the measures of mortality reported for this high-risk population are typically only summary measures, which do not provide either the mortality rates or excess death rates needed to construct life tables for individuals with serious mental illness.


-Mortality rates were computed by dividing the number of deaths by the amount of life-years lived in strata specific to gender, age and race/ethnicity. Age-specific excess death rates were determined as the difference between the study population rate and the corresponding general population rate in each stratum. To compute excess death rates beyond observed ages in the cohort, a method with documented reliability and validity for chronic medical conditions was used.


-For the cohort with mental illness, mortality rates for Black and White females were mostly equal, and consistently greater than those for Hispanic females; excess death rates for females displayed a similar pattern. Among males, mortality rates were highest for Whites, with Hispanics and Blacks close in magnitude at all ages. Excess death rates for males showed more divergence between the categories of race/ethnicity across the age range.


-Mortality rates specific to categories of gender, age and race/ethnicity show sufficient differences as to make them the preferred way to construct life tables. This is especially true in contrast to broader summary measures such as risk ratios, standardized incidence rates, or life expectancy.


Mental health; disparities; excess death rates; life expectancy; life table; mental illness; survival

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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