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Am J Psychiatry. 1994 May;151(5):716-21.

Psychiatric status and 9-year mortality data in the New Haven Epidemiologic Catchment Area Study.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, New Haven, CT 06520-8034.



This study examined the effects of nine axis I psychiatric disorders, as assessed by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, on the risk of mortality over a 9-year period among a community sample of 3,560 men and women aged 40 and older.


The study identified the vital status as of Oct. 1, 1989, of respondents who were first interviewed in 1980 by the New Haven Epidemiologic Catchment Area study. Mortality risk by psychiatric status was estimated by using Cox proportional hazards models.


Nine years after the baseline interview, it was confirmed that 1,194 (33.5%) of the respondents were deceased and 2,344 (65.8%) survived; the vital status of 22 (0.6%) remained unknown. When the relative risk of mortality was adjusted for age, several disorders--major depression, alcohol abuse or dependence, and schizophrenia--increased the likelihood of mortality.


These data are further evidence of the negative outcome of some psychiatric problems even when assessed in community samples. The relatively high prevalence of depression and alcohol disorders indicates the far-reaching impact that these problems have on community health in general.

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