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December 2015

An Urgent Call to Address the Deadly Consequences of Serious Mental Disorders

Author Affiliations
  • 1Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, The Park Centre for Mental Health, Wacol, Australia
  • 2School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Australia
  • 3Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia
JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(12):1166-1167. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1981

The article by Olfson and colleagues1 in this issue of JAMA Psychiatry is a reminder of how we are failing to meet the needs of people with schizophrenia. Based on approximately 74 000 deaths within a cohort of 1.1 million individuals with schizophrenia, those with schizophrenia were more than 3.5 times as likely to die in the follow-up period compared with adults in the general population. On average, the years of potential life lost for each deceased individual were 28.5 years. More than 85% of the known all-cause deaths were attributed to natural causes, of which cardiovascular disease contributed 35%, followed by cancer (17%) and diabetes mellitus (5%). The standardized mortality ratios for cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were 3.6 and 9.9, respectively.

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