Original Articles

European archives of psychiatry and neurological sciences

, Volume 239, Issue 6, pp 361-365

Excess mortality by natural causes of italian schizophrenic patients

  • Alain D. LesageAffiliated withPsychiatric Research Center, Louis-H. Lafontaine Hospital
  • , Valeria TrapaniAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of Verona
  • , Michele TansellaAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry, University of Verona

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Summary

The risk of mortality over a 5- to 8-year period for a total 1-year prevalence cohort of schizophrenic patients extracted by means of the South-Verona Psychiatric Case Register (Italy) was assessed using three methods: (1) case control with both non-psychotic patients and the general population matched for sex and age; (2) indirect standardization using mortality tables; (3) a recently described method using survival tables. All methods yielded an excess mortality associated with schizophrenia, close to the two-fold increase described in other studies, while the survival tables method produced a higher standardized mortality ratio (SMR). The increased SMR did not appear solely attributable to suicide. Most deaths were attributable to natural causes. This is a departure from other recently reported mortality studies. The possible reasons are discussed.

Key words

Schizophrenia Mortality Psychiatric case register