Author(s): Bushe CJ, Taylor M, Haukka J
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Abstract Over the last five years, large data sets on mortality in schizophrenia have been published which have established mortality as a measurable clinical endpoint. Four issues need clarification: whether mortality rates are declining, what the causes of death are, the effects antipsychotic treatments have on mortality and whether these data inform as to how mortality may be reduced in the future. A PubMed search was carried out to identify relevant publications. The search strategy was conducted as a review focusing predominantly on data since 2006. A large number of retrospective epidemiological and prospective studies have been published on mortality rates and causation in schizophrenia, predominantly from 2006-2009. Data suggest that the mortality gap with the general population increased from the 1970s but may have peaked in the mid-1990s. The main causes of mortality are suicide, cancer and cardiovascular disease, with evidence that cancer mortality rates are similar to cardiovascular mortality rates. Mortality causation is dependent upon age of the cohort, length of follow up and type of study. Antipsychotic treatments reduce mortality when compared with no treatment and atypical antipsychotics do not appear to increase cardiovascular mortality and morbidity compared with conventionals; further research is required for any definitive conclusion.
This article was published in J Psychopharmacol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy