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Mental disorders and cause-specific mortality

  • Matti Joukamaa (a1), Markku HeliöVaara (a1), Paul Knekt (a2), Arpo Aromaa (a2), Raimo Raitasalo (a3) and Ville Lehtinen (a4)...

Abstract

Background

The impact of clinically diagnosed mental disorders on mortality in the general population has not been established.

Aims

To examine mental disorders for their prediction of cause-specific mortality.

Method

Mental disorders were determined using the 36-item version of the General Health Questionnaire and the Present State Examination in a nationally representative sample of 8000 adult Finns.

Results

During the 17-year follow-up period 1597 deaths occurred. The presence of a mental disorder detected at baseline was associated with an elevated mortality rate. The relative risk in men was 1.6 (95% confidence interval 1.3–1.8) and in women, 1.4 (95% Cl 1.2–1.6). In men and women with schizophrenia the relative risks of death during the follow-up period were 3.3 (95% Cl 2.3–4.9) and 2.3 (95% Cl 1.3–3.8) respectively, compared with the rest of the sample. In both men and women with schizophrenia the risk of dying of respiratory disease was increased, but the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease was increased only in men with neurotic depression.

Conclusions

Schizophrenia and depression are associated with an elevated risk of natural and unnatural deaths.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Matti Joukamaa, Department of Psychiatry, Oulu University Hospital, PO Box 5000, FIN-90401 Oulu, Finland. Tel: +358 8 315 7374; fax: +358 8 333 167; e-mail: matti.joukamaa@oulu.fi

Footnotes

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See editorial, pp. 477–478, this issue.

Declaration of interest

This study was funded by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

Footnotes

References

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Mental disorders and cause-specific mortality

  • Matti Joukamaa (a1), Markku HeliöVaara (a1), Paul Knekt (a2), Arpo Aromaa (a2), Raimo Raitasalo (a3) and Ville Lehtinen (a4)...

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