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Those With Mental Illness Die Earlier

Large Danish study examined mortality rates for 10 mental disorders, 11 specific causes of death

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) — People living with any mental disorder have a shorter life expectancy than the general population, according to a Danish study published online Oct. 24 in The Lancet.

Oleguer Plana-Ripoll, Ph.D., from Aarhus University in Denmark, and colleagues used the Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register to identify diagnosis of 10 types of mental disorder and the Danish Register of Causes of Death to identify date and cause of death (11 groups) for 7,369,926 people who lived in Denmark from 1995 through 2015.

The researchers found that mortality rates were higher for people with a diagnosis of a mental disorder than for the general Danish population (28.7 deaths versus 12.9 deaths per 1,000 person-years). All of the 10 types of mental disorders evaluated were associated with higher mortality rates, with mortality rate ratios ranging from 1.92 for mood disorders to 3.91 for substance use disorders. Shorter life expectancies were seen for all types of mental disorders, with excess life-years lost ranging from 5.42 years for organic disorders in women to 14.84 years for substance use disorders in men. Compared with the general population, men with any type of mental disorder lost fewer years due to cancer-related deaths but had higher cancer mortality rates.

“Our findings reinforce the need to optimize the coordinated care of general medical conditions in those with mental disorders,” the authors write.

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