Premature Mortality Linked With Serious Mental Illness

Patients with serious and persistent mental illness have significantly more years of potential life lost (YPLL) than do those without the disorders, according to a new retrospective study.

Although suicide, cancer, accidents, liver disease, and septicemia all contributed to increased premature mortality in the study’s mentally ill participants compared with a general population sample, the leading cause of death for both groups was heart disease, according to the researchers.

“We found that a community-based sample of adults with severe and persistent mental illness lost 14.5 years of potential life, a difference of 4.2 years from the [control] sample,” write lead study author Elizabeth E. Piatt, PhD, from the Department of Behavioral and Community Health Sciences at Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in Rootstown, and colleagues.

Reported by Deborah Brauser
Medscape Medical News

Publish in Psychiatr Serv. 2010;61:663-668.

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