Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 269–277 | Cite as

Mortality of people suffering from mental illness: a study of a cohort of patients hospitalised in psychiatry in the North of France

  • Claire-Lise Charrel
  • Laurent Plancke
  • Michaël Genin
  • Laurent Defromont
  • François Ducrocq
  • Guillaume Vaiva
  • Thierry Danel
Original Paper



The mortality of people suffering from psychiatric illnesses is far higher than that of the general population, all categories of diagnosis combined; mortality statistics can be used as an index of quality of care. The aim of this study was to assess the all-cause mortality in psychiatric patients covering all diagnostic groups.


The living or deceased status of 4,417 patients of majority age hospitalised in a public mental health establishment between 2004 and 2007 were requested from French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies on 1st January 2011. The cause of death of those people who had died was obtained from French National Institute for Health and Medical Research and comparative standardized mortality ratios (SMR) were established from the population in a region of northern France of the same age in 2006.


The study population was made up of 54 % men and 46 % women, median age 41 and 45 years old, respectively. Four hundred and seventy-three people died during the period studied. The SMR were 421 for men (95 % CI 378–470) and 330 for women (95 % CI 281–388). The highest SMRs were found in patients aged 35–54, with a 20-time higher mortality risk than the general population of the same age.


Our study confirms the considerably higher mortality in psychiatric patients than in general population, particularly in mean age and mostly due to an unnatural cause.


Mental illness Excess mortality SMR Causes of death 



The authors wish to thank all hospital directors of Nord-Pas-De-Calais region who have financially supported this work. The authors also want to thank Christian Porteaux, computer scientist, for having collected data.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire-Lise Charrel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Laurent Plancke
    • 1
  • Michaël Genin
    • 1
    • 3
  • Laurent Defromont
    • 2
  • François Ducrocq
    • 1
    • 4
  • Guillaume Vaiva
    • 1
    • 4
  • Thierry Danel
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Federation of Mental Health ResearchLilleFrance
  2. 2.Public Mental Health Establishment Lille-MetropoleArmentières CedexFrance
  3. 3.Biostatistics Unit, EA2694University and Hospital of Lille Nord de FranceLilleFrance
  4. 4.Medical University HospitalLilleFrance

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