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Differences in mortality and suicidal behaviour between treated and never-treated people with schizophrenia in rural China

  • Mao-Sheng Ran (a1), Cecilia Lai-Wan Chan (a2), Eric Yu-Hai Chen (a3), Wen-Jun Mao (a4), Shi-Hui Hu (a4), Cui-Ping Tang (a5), Fu-Rong Lin (a5) and Yeates Conwell (a6)...

Abstract

Background

Many people with schizophrenia remain untreated in the community. Long-term mortality and suicidal behaviour among never-treated individuals with schizophrenia in the community are unknown.

Aims

To explore 10-year mortality and suicidal behaviour among never-treated individuals with schizophrenia.

Method

We used data from a 10-year prospective follow-up study (1994–2004) among people with schizophrenia in Xinjin County, Chengdu, China.

Results

The mortality rate for never-treated individuals with schizophrenia was 2761 per 100 000 person-years during follow-up. There were no significant differences of rates of suicide and all-cause mortality between never-treated and treated individuals. The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) for never-treated people was 10.4 (95% CI 7.2–15.2) and for treated individuals 6.5 (95% CI 5.2–8.5). Compared with treated people, never-treated individuals were more likely to be older, poorer, have a longer duration of illness, marked symptoms and fewer family members.

Conclusions

The never-treated individuals have similar mortality to and a higher proportion of marked symptoms than treated people, which may reflect the poor outcome of the individuals without treatment. The higher rates of mortality, homelessness and never being treated among people with schizophrenia in low- and middle-income nations might challenge presumed wisdom about schizophrenia outcomes in these countries.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

Mao-Sheng Ran, Division of Social Work, University of Guam, Mangilao, Guam 96923, USA. Email: ranmaosh@yahoo.com

Footnotes

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The 1994 Chengdu study was supported by a grant from the China Medical Board in New York (CMB, 92-557; MZ Xiang, PI). This work was supported in part by HKJC Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention, HKU, and ICOHRTA grant D43 TW05814 (E.D. Caine, PI) and GRIP 1 R01 TW007260-01 (M.S. Ran, PI) from the Fogarty International Center of NIH.

Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes

References

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Differences in mortality and suicidal behaviour between treated and never-treated people with schizophrenia in rural China

  • Mao-Sheng Ran (a1), Cecilia Lai-Wan Chan (a2), Eric Yu-Hai Chen (a3), Wen-Jun Mao (a4), Shi-Hui Hu (a4), Cui-Ping Tang (a5), Fu-Rong Lin (a5) and Yeates Conwell (a6)...
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