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Modifiable Risk Factors in Schizophrenia Patients

Focus on these areas could prevent excess deaths

Excess deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases in individuals with schizophrenia are due to modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, especially tobacco use, according to a retrospective longitudinal study of a cohort of more than 1 million adults with schizophrenia.

Participants, all Medicaid patients, ranged in age from 20 to 64 years. The cohort included 1.139 million individuals, 4.8 million years of follow-up, and 65,553 deaths from a known cause.

Compared to the general population, individuals with schizophrenia were more than 3.5 times as likely to die. Additionally:

• Cardiovascular disease had the highest mortality rate: 403.2 per 100,000 person-years.

• Lung cancer had the highest cancer mortality rate: 74.8 per 100,000 person-years.

• Accidental deaths occurred at a rate of 119.7 per 100,000 person-years, compared with suicide, at 52.0 per 100,000 person-years.

• Nonsuicidal substance-induced death, mostly from alcohol or other drugs, occurred at a rate of 95.2 per 100,000 person-years.

Citation: Olfson M, Gerhard T, et al. Premature mortality among adults with schizophrenia in the United States. [Published online ahead of print October 28, 2015]. JAMA Psychiatry. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2015.1737.