Objective - Gathering, comparing and, if possible, commenting on datas and experimental evidences which have emerged in the principal literary works about mortality and psychiatric patients' causes of death. Particularly finding an answer (and a possible explanation) to some of the most important questions about these matters: does a psychiatric patient die easier than a healthy man? Does a correlation exist between nosographic diagnosis and causes of death? Finally do factors of risk, which are connected with death, exist? Method - The principal bibliographies which exist in national and international literature, from the middle of the last century until present days, have been consulted. Results - Essential agreement among existing dates in literature have emerged. Psychiatric patients dies easier than healthy man: rates of mortality have fallen from 6-7 (SMR), value of the middle of 1800 to 1,5-3 which is the value of present days. Respiratory, cardiovascular and, still, infectious diseases are the most important causes of death. There is not agreement about deaths caused by cancer. Some researchers affirm the protective action of psychiatric disease against the rising and diffusion of cancer. Non natural deaths (in primis suicide and accidental deaths) are rapresented too. All diagnostic categories (from alcholism to homosexuality, from organic brain disorders to schizophrenia) have a high risk of death while affective disorders have to be studied further. Young people have the highest risk. Conclusions - The frequency of physical beside psychic disease suggests to pay more attention to patient's general conditions even by some diagnostic ascertainments (TAC, RMN, etc) which are able to identify the most disabling conditions for the prognosis (diabetes, arterial hypertension, organic cerebral syndromes, etc).