14.5 Years of Potential Life Lost Linked to Schizophrenia

By KM Diaz, | March 20, 2017

Schizophrenia was associated with 14.5 years of potential life lost based on the systematic review and meta-analysis. This substantial amount has not decreased over time.

Schizophrenia was associated with 14.5 years of potential life lost based on the systematic review and meta-analysis. This substantial amount has not decreased over time.

Schizophrenia was associated with 14.5 years of potential life lost based on the systematic review and meta-analysis. This substantial amount has not decreased over time.

Life expectancy and years of potential life lost in schizophrenia was analyzed by Darsten Hjorthøj, Ph.D., from the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, along with his colleagues. They obtained from 11 studies out of 13 publications that involve 247,603 patients with schizophrenia in all inhabited continents excluding South America.

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They combined the data collected in meta-analyses as weighted averages. After that, they conducted subgroup analyses for geographical region, sex, the risk of bias, and the timing of publication. The result obtained shows that schizophrenia was linked with an average of 14.5 years of potential life lost.

Life lost was higher among men with 15.9 years than women with 13.6 years of life lost. Africa has greatest loss of life and least in Asia. Furthermore, Asia and Africa has the lowest life expectancy, according to the researchers. There are also no indications that life lost has declined over the time. The study highlights the needs of developing interventions and actions to reduce the excess mortality.

There are existing researches that relates to the early death of schizophrenia in several findings. The mental disorder increased the predominance of somatic disorders like diabetes and cardiovascular disease opposed to the general population. These might be due to increased rates of smoking, metabolic side effects from second-generation antipsychotics, increased rates of poor diets and inactive lifestyles, and use of prohibited substances.

Suicide may also be an additional factor with approximately 22-folds in people with schizophrenia than the overall population. Researchers concluded that by decreasing the suicide risk through improved quality of care, it can have striking effects on years of potential life lost among schizophrenia patients.

However, the research has also limitations. It is only based on the 11 studies of meta-analysis. All the conducted study applied International Classification of Diseases (ICD) criteria in diagnosing schizophrenia that's why they cannot do further findings if the life expectancy varies according to the diagnostic system. The findings did not also use standard errors (SEs) for life expectancy or years of potential life lost, only estimated pooled SE. The result might be over or underestimated of the real SEs.

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