People with psychotic disorders have increased mortality compared to the general population. The mortality is mostly due to natural causes and it is disproportionately high compared to the somatic morbidity of people with psychotic disorders.
We aimed to find predictors of mortality in psychotic disorders and to evaluate the extent to which sociodemographic and health-related factors explain the excess mortality.
In a nationally representative sample of Finns aged 30–70 years (n = 5642), psychotic disorders were diagnosed in 2000–2001. Information on mortality and causes of death was obtained of those who died by the end of year 2013. Cox proportional hazards models were used to investigate the mortality risk.
Adjusting for age and sex, diagnosis of nonaffective psychotic disorder (NAP) (n = 106) was statistically significantly associated with all-cause mortality (HR 2.99, 95% CI 2.03–4.41) and natural-cause mortality (HR 2.81, 95% CI 1.85–4.28). After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, health status, inflammation and smoking, the HR dropped to 2.11 (95% CI 1.10–4.05) for all-cause and to 1.98 (95% CI 0.94–4.16) for natural-cause mortality. Within the NAP group, antipsychotic use at baseline was associated with reduced HR for natural-cause mortality (HR 0.25, 95% CI 0.07–0.96), and smoking with increased HR (HR 3.54, 95% CI 1.07–11.69).
The elevated mortality risk associated with NAP is only partly explained by socioeconomic factors, lifestyle, cardiometabolic comorbidities and inflammation. Smoking cessation should be prioritized in treatment of psychotic disorders. More research is needed on the quality of treatment of somatic conditions in people with psychotic disorders.
Jaakko Keinänen owns shares in pharmaceutical company Orion.