Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2006  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 84-87

Assessment of mortality and marital status of schizophrenic patients over a period of 13 years

1 Department of Psychiatry, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (Deemed University), Chennai 600116; Former Dean, Tamil Nadu Medical Service; Director, Institute of Mental Health; Professor and Head, Department of Psychiatry, Madras Medical College, Chennai, India
2 Madras Medical College and Institute of Mental Health, Chennai, India
3 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Ramachandra Medical College and Research Institute (Deemed University), Porur 600116, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
R Ponnudurai
24/3-B-T.T.K. Road, Chennai 600018, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.31595

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Background: Studies on standardized mortality rates of schizophrenic patients might help to increase the life span of these patients. Such data from developing countries including India are lacking. Investigations that provide clues regarding the quality of their family lives could also be beneficial. Aim: Besides mortality and causes of death, this study was also aimed to examine the marital status of a group of schizophrenic patients over a period of 13 years. Methods: Out of 121 schizophrenic patients recruited earlier for a different purpose, 60 were re-assessed after a period of 13 years with regard to their mortality and causes of death. The proportion of those who had to remain single because the onset of their illness was before they were 25 years of age were compared with those who had a later onset. Results: Seven deaths were recorded and the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for all the age groups was 54.2. One patient who had absconded was not counted as a case of death. Furthermore, this trend of a high SMR persisted despite merging both the cohort and un-reassessed group (SMR 25.1) with and without known mortality. Among the deaths, the unnatural causes of death were noteworthy (28.57%)-1 accidental and another suicidal. Some deaths were probably due to poor general medical care. The proportion of patients who had to remain single because their onset of illness was before 25 years of age was significantly more than those with a later onset (p<0.001). Conclusion: It is speculated that strengthening the general healthcare delivery system for the mentally ill and sensitizing caregivers about the possible risky behaviours of patients might reduce the mortality.



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