An overview of 1.6 million deaths in Ontario over a 20-year period revealed that people with schizophrenia are three times more likely to die—and die younger—than the general population. New research revealed that the most vulnerable schizophrenia patients are female, younger and living in lower-income neighbourhoods. While the average life expectancy for people with schizophrenia has increased by 3 years since 1993, they are still 8 years younger than the general population at the time of death. Researchers say lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and poor diet can be contributing to the difference in mortality rates. As well, drugs normally prescribed to schizophrenia patients have been associated with obesity and diabetes, which can be contributing to poor health in these populations.
Evgenia Gatov, Laura Rosella, Maria Chiu, Paul A. Kurdyak
Paul Kurdyak, Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Institute for Mental Health Policy Research, Email: Paul.Kurdyak@camh.ca
Original paper published in CMAJ on September 18, 2017.