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Mortality after the first diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum disorders: a population-based retrospective cohort study


There is emerging evidence of high mortality rates after the first diagnosis of psychotic disorder. The objective of this study was to estimate the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) in a population-based cohort of individuals with a first diagnosis of schizophrenia-spectrum psychotic disorder (SSD). The cohort included a population-based sample of individuals with a first diagnosis of SSD based on the first diagnosis occurring during hospitalization or in an outpatient setting between 2007 and 2010 in Ontario, Canada. All patients were followed for 5 years after the first diagnosis. The primary outcome was SMR, including all-cause, suicide-related, accidental, and other causes. Between 2007 and 2010, there were 2382 patients in the hospitalization cohort and 11 003 patients in the outpatient cohort. Over the 5-year observation period, 97 (4.1%) of the hospitalization cohort and 292 (2.7%) of the outpatient cohort died, resulting in an SMR of 13.6 and 9.1, respectively. In both cohorts, suicide was the most common cause of death. Approximately 1 in 25 patients with a first diagnosis of SSD during hospitalization, and 1 in 40 patients with a first diagnosis of SSD in an outpatient setting, died within 5 years of first diagnosis in Ontario, Canada. This mortality rate is between 9 and 13 times higher than would be expected in the age-matched general population. Based on these data, timely access to services should be a public health priority to reduce mortality following a first diagnosis of an SSD.



Kurdyak P, Mallia E, de Oliveira C, Carvalho AF, Kozloff N, Zaheer J, Tempelaar WM, Anderson KK, Correll CU, Voineskos AN. Schizophr Bull. 2021; 47(3):864-74. Epub 2021 Jan 18.

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