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Comment & Response
September 2017

The Importance of a Valid Comparison Group

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Clinical Health Psychology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
JAMA Psychiatry. 2017;74(9):972-973. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2017.2219

To the Editor The study by Walter et al1 in JAMA Psychiatry used national registry data to examine mortality risk in the year following discharge among those who underwent psychiatric hospitalization compared with individuals without a history of hospitalization. The authors found a 16-fold higher risk of premature death among those who had been admitted relative to the reference group. Further, the risk of suicide after discharge was particularly high, being 66.9 times higher than among individuals who had never been hospitalized.