The effects of schizophrenia are quite debilitating. And to make things worse, a recent Canadian research has suggested that mortality rates among patients of schizophrenia are three times greater than their healthy counterparts. The study also indicated that people suffering from schizophrenia died eight years younger compared to those not afflicted with the mental illness.
In the study, titled “Trends in standardized mortality among individuals with schizophrenia, 1993–2012: a population-based, repeated cross-sectional study,” the researchers observed details of all the people who had died in Ontario over a 20-year period, from 1993 to 2012, to understand the trends in deaths attributed to schizophrenia. Of these, 31,349 had died of schizophrenia. A detailed examination showed that these victims were mostly young females living in economically weaker neighborhoods.
The study, published online in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in September 2017, aimed to examine the trends of mortality rate with time and the prevalence of premature mortality among people with and without the disorder over a span of 20 years.
Assessing lifespan of people with schizophrenia
An evaluation of the findings showed how patients of schizophrenia lived for an average of 64.7 years to 67.4 years between 1993 and 2012 when contrasted to 73.3 to 76.7 years for those classified among the general population. The current research supported the findings of previous studies, indicating increased death rates among people with schizophrenia.
Elucidating the implication of the findings, study’s co-author Dr. Paul Kurdyak said, “It’s clear that there is not enough evidence to support what we should be doing. This study, in addition to documenting astonishingly high mortality rates, also points to an equity issue — that individuals with schizophrenia are not benefiting from public health and health care interventions to the same degree as individuals without schizophrenia. The complex needs of individuals with schizophrenia and comorbid medical conditions create a tremendous challenge to providers and health care systems more broadly.”
Adding to the woes of patients of schizophrenia, adverse lifestyle habits, including smoking, drinking, inadequate diets and lack of exercise may also explain the increased risk of deaths among people with the disorder. The authors pinpointed at a greater need for increased developments to alleviate the mortality rate arising from such high rates of pervasiveness of the disease. Moreover, despite numerous researches striving to find out effective treatments for the symptoms of schizophrenia, no combination of medications and behavioral therapies has provided long-term remission.
Recovering from mental illnesses
Mental health problems are becoming increasingly common. The fact that most of the affected people refrain from asking for necessary help worsens the chance of complete recovery. Experts suggest that reining in smoking habits, following proper diet and exercising regularly can help counter the impact of schizophrenia that worsens with substance abuse. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1.1 percent adult Americans live with schizophrenia during any given year. Experts feel that adolescent men are more vulnerable to suffer from this disorder, while women are more prone to the disease when they are around 25-30 years.
People with schizophrenia should seek treatment at the earliest. Sovereign Health of Florida’s schizophrenia rehabilitation centers offer evidence-based behavioral treatment programs for both men and women affected by this mental illness. Schizophrenia treatment programs at our state-of-the-art treatment facilities comprises a combination of medications, psychotherapy, alternative therapies and counseling. For more information on our holistic mental health treatment programs or to locate our treatment centers near you, call our 24/7 helpline number. You can even chat online with one of our representatives for further assistance.