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September 1980

Premature Deaths in Schizophrenia and Affective Disorders: An Analysis of Survival Curves and Variables Affecting the Shortened Survival

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr Tsuang and Mr Fleming) and Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health (Drs Tsuang and Woolson), University of Iowa College of Medicine, Iowa City. Dr Tsuang is on sabbatical until August 1980 at the Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, England, where he is a visiting professor as a Josiah Macy Jr Foundation Faculty Scholar; and Dr Woolson is on sabbatical until July 1980 as a Fellow of the Foundation's Fund for Research in Psychiatry in the Department of Biomathematics, University of Oxford, England.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(9):979-983. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780220017001

• We have found shortened survival in 200 schizophrenics, 100 manics, and 225 depressives by comparing them with the lowa general population. The numbers of years of shortened survival were estimated from the survival curves of each diagnostic group by sex. Variables affecting shortened survival were diagnostic group, sex, age at admission, and pay status at admission. Excess causes of death were suicides, accidents, and infective and circulatory system diseases. The absolute mortality for deaths due to neoplasm in our sample was not significantly different than that in the Iowa general population. However, the proportional mortality from the same data showed a deficiency in deaths due to neoplasm in schizophrenia and affective disorders. Well-designed epidemiologic studies are needed to see if there is a real deficiency in deaths due to cancer in the major psychoses.

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