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Rev Saude Publica. 1996 Aug;30(4):304-9.

Mortality among patients with non-affective functional psychoses in a metropolitan area of south-eastern Brazil.

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Section of Epidemiology and General Practice, Institute of Psychiatry, UK.


High mortality rates among those suffering from schizophrenia and related psychoses have been consistently described in developed societies. However, to date there is a lack of data on this matter in Brazil. In order to examine this issue, a prospective 2-year follow-up study was carried out in S. Paulo. The sample consisted of 120 consecutive admissions to psychiatric hospitals in a defined catchment area, aged 18 to 44 years old, with clinical diagnoses of non-affective functional psychoses according to the ICD-9. After 2 years, 116 (96.7%) subjects were traced. During the study period there were 7 deaths (6.0% of those traced), 5 (4.3%) due to suicide. All but one of the suicides occurred in the first year after discharge from hospital. Age and sex Standardised Mortality Ratios (relative to rates for the population of the city of Sao Paulo) were 8.4 for overall mortality (95% confidence interval: 4.0-15.9) and 317.9 for deaths due to suicide (95% confidence interval: 125.2-668.3). These results are in agreement with previous studies, and show that in Brazil non-affective functional psychoses are life-threatening illnesses, which need adequate care, particularly when patients go back to live in the community after hospital discharge.

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