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August 1981

Mortality Among Psychiatric InpatientsAge-Adjusted Comparison of Populations Before and After Psychotropic Drug Era

Author Affiliations

From the Information Sciences Division, Rockland Research Institute, Orangeburg, NY.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(8):935-938. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780330093011

• Comparison of age-adjusted death rates for inpatient and general populations from three pre-drug era and one post-drug era samples revealed a progressive decline in mortality that was most marked among elderly men. When length of stay was considered, the post-drug era sample showed a 30% reduction in mortality among patients hospitalized less than one year and a 50% reduction among longer-stay patients. The findings fail to support an increased mortality risk associated with the use of psychotropic drugs but dramatize the increased need for psychiatric services resulting from the increased survival of patients, especially those with long-term hospital stays.