In a previous study it was found that schizophrenic patients die at a younger age than the normal population.4 Furthermore, former schizophrenic patients who had been admitted only once and had been discharged from hospitalization had a longer life expectancy than those in continuous residence and dying in the hospital.
To check the validity of the analysis, a study was made of schizophrenics with multiple admissions to the hospital. As suspected, their age at death fell between the two other groups of patients.
These results did not allow an unequivocal choice between two hypotheses: Whether it was the effects of hospitalization itself or whether it was the nature of the schizophrenic illness that was responsible for the shorter life span of this group of mentally ill patients.
A search of the literature did not reveal that similar data had been reported previously. An
NISWANDER GD, HASLERUD GM, MITCHELL GD. Changes in Cause of Death of Schizophrenic Patients: A Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Study Over a 60-Year Period. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;9(3):229–234. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720150039006
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