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August 1981

Diagnosis-Specific MortalityPrimary Unipolar Depression and Briquet's Syndrome (Somatization Disorder)

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(8):939-942. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780330097012

• A 42-year follow-up of 76 women with Briquet's syndrome revealed no evidence of excess mortality. A carefully matched group of patients with primary unipolar depression had excess mortality in comparison both with the Briquet's syndrome group and with the Iowa population. Although one of the 30 patients with Briquet's syndrome with available death certificates died by suicide, the rate of death due to unnatural causes in the Briquet's syndrome group was not greater than that predicted by relevant population figures. These findings suggest that some psychiatric illnesses involve excess mortality while others do not. Reasons for this excess likewise may vary by diagnosis.