Premature death in schizophrenia – Psychiatry MCQ

Most common cause of premature death in schizophrenia is?

A. Drug toxicity
B. Nosocomial infection
C. Homicide
D. Suicide

Correct answer : D. Suicide

Premature death in schizophrenia

  • Life expectancy of patients with schizophrenia is decreased by approximately 15 to 25 years. 1
  • Suicide is the most important cause of premature death in patients with schizophrenia.
  • There is a 20 fold increased risk of suicide compared to the general population.
  • Suicide attempts may occur without warning or expression of intent.
  • Cancer is the second most frequent cause of mortality in schizophrenics. 2
  • The rates of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disorders are also increased. 2

Journal references:

  1. The paradox of premature mortality in schizophrenia: new research questionsJ Psychopharmacol. 2010 November
  2. Cancer mortality in patients with schizophrenia : A 11-year prospective cohort study, Cancer, Volume 115, Issue 15, pages 3555–3562, 1 August 2009

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