A new study from Lund University in Sweden shows that the average life expectancy of men and women with schizophrenia is 15 years and 12 years shorter respectively than for those who do not suffer from the disease. The study has been carried out in collaboration with Stanford University in the US.
The reasons why people with schizophrenia have a shorter life expectancy have previously been unknown, but have been much discussed in recent years. The research report that has now been published shows that individuals with schizophrenia are more likely to die of two major diseases.
The study followed over six million individuals from 2003 to 2009, of whom 8 277 had schizophrenia, by analysing the Swedish population and health registers.
The results show that people with schizophrenia had contact with the health service over twice as often as people without the condition, but they were no more likely to be diagnosed with cardiovascular disease or cancer.