People with schizophrenia are three times more likely to die, and die younger, than the general population, indicating a need for solutions to narrow this gap, according to research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
This large study looked at all deaths in Ontario over a 20-year period (1993-2012) – more than 1.6 million deaths – to understand trends in schizophrenia. Of these, 31 349 were deaths of people with schizophrenia and more were female, younger and living in lower-income neighbourhoods compared with the general population. Despite increases in life expectancy, people with schizophrenia died 8 years younger than the general population (age at death increased from an average of 64.7 to 67.4 years of age from 1993 to 2012 among people with schizophrenia compared with 73.3 to 76.7 years in general population). Death from all causes decreased 35% in parallel in both groups.