Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 October 2020
Personality disorders are prevalent in 6–10% of the population, but their risk for cause-specific mortality is unclear. The aim of the study was to assess the association between personality disorders diagnosed in late adolescence and all-cause as well as cause-specific (cardiovascular-related, external-related) mortality.
We performed a longitudinal study on a historical prospective cohort based on nationwide screening prior to recruitment to the Israeli army. The study participants were 16–19-year-old persons who attended the army screening (medical and cognitive, including screening for psychiatric disorders) between 1967 and 2006. Participants were followed from 1967 till 2011.
The study included 2 051 606 subjects, of whom 1 229 252 (59.9%) were men and 822 354 (40.1%) were women, mean age 17.36 years. There were 55 508 (4.5%) men and 8237 (1.0%) women diagnosed with personality disorders. The adjusted hazard ratio (HRs) for coronary, stroke, cardiovascular, external-related causes and all-cause mortality among men with personality disorders were 1.34 (1.03–1.74), 1.82 (1.20–2.76), 1.45 (1.23–1.71), 1.41 (1.30–1.53) and 1.44 (1.36–1.51), respectively. The absolute rate difference for all-cause mortality was 56.07 and 13.19 per 105 person-years among men and women, respectively. Among women with personality disorders, the adjusted HRs for external-related causes and all-cause mortality were 2.74 (1.87–4.00) and 2.01 (1.56–2.58). Associations were already evident within 10 years of follow-up.
Personality disorder in late adolescence is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular, external- and all-cause mortality. Increased cardiovascular mortality is evident before the age of 40 years and may point to the importance of lifestyle education already in youth.