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How are mortality rates altered in people with schizophrenia? 

The life expectancy of people with schizophrenia is reduced compared to the general population. The reasons for increased mortality in schizophrenia are largely unclear, but may in part be related to lifestyle factors such as weight gain, smoking, unhealthy diet and low physical activity levels. Schizophrenia may also be associated with increased suicide rates when compared to the general population.

What is the evidence relating to mortality rates?

Moderate to high quality evidence suggests a large increased risk of mortality in people with schizophrenia compared to the general population, which appears to be increasing with time. This risk is higher in males than in females.

Moderate quality evidence suggests the increased risk is partly due to increased cardiovascular, coronary, digestive endocrine, infectious, genitourinary, neoplastic, nervous, and respiratory diseases. Females with schizophrenia show increased mortality rates due to cancer, while males with schizophrenia show lower levels of cancer-related mortality. Unnatural causes of mortality, in particular suicide, is around 12 times higher in people with schizophrenia than in the general population.

There are no differences in mortality rates between people taking antipsychotics or placebo.


July 2017

Page last updated: 21:20  9 October 2018

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