Premature death in individuals with severe mental illness (SMI) in countries without nationally collected data, including Japan, is structurally underreported.
To elucidate excess mortality among individuals with SMI in Japan.
We retrospectively investigated all deaths among users of a non-clinical community-based mental health service provider in suburban Tokyo from 1992 to 2015.
During the study period, 45 individuals died among 254 qualified registrants. Deaths were by natural causes in 33 cases (73.3%). The mean years of life lost was 22.2 years and the overall standard mortality ratio (SMR) was 3.28 (95% CI 2.40–4.39). The cause-specific SMR was 5.09 (95% CI 2.33–9.66) for cardiovascular disease and 7.38 (95% CI 2.40–17.22) for suicide.
Although Japan leads the world in longevity, individuals with SMI suffer premature death and excess mortality due to physical conditions as well as suicide. Revealing this underreported disparity of life is the first step to improving physical care for individuals with SMI.
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