Schizophrenia linked to threefold increase in death risk

A study that examined trends over 20 years in a large Canadian population revealed that people with schizophrenia were three times more likely to die than people without it. Those with the disorder were also found to have a lower life expectancy.

Writing in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers – led by Dr. Paul Kurdyak, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, both in Ontario, Canada – call for greater efforts to reduce the gap.

Schizophrenia is a severe, long-term, disabling mental disorder that typically starts in late adolescence or early adulthood. It affects around 1.1 percent of adults in the United States.

The disorder disrupts perception, thinking, emotions, and behavior, often making it very difficult to hold down a job, have relationships, and deal with everyday life.

Although there is currently no cure for schizophrenia, there are treatments that can help patients to manage their symptoms and have a productive, independent life.

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