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Antipsychotic polypharmacy is not associated with increased mortality from natural causes in patients with schizophrenia compared to monotherapy

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Question

Question

Is antipsychotic polypharmacy a risk factor for death from natural causes in patients with schizophrenia?

People

Case–control study nested in cohort of 27 633 patients aged 18–53 years, with ICD-8 and ICD-10 diagnosed schizophrenia or other psychoses (mainly non-affective). 193 ‘cases’ were selected from those who died from natural causes between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2005. Deaths due to suicide, homicide or accident and unexplained deaths were excluded. Up to 15 age- and sex-matched controls were identified per case and had to be alive at the date of death of respective case. Their index date was defined as the date of death of their matched case. Both cases and controls were included if they had filled at least one prescription for an antipsychotic and had been hospitalised for less than 240 days during the year prior to the date of death or the index date.

Setting

Denmark; January 1996 to December 2005.

Risk factors

Antipsychotic use; monotherapy was defined as one prescription filled for a single antipsychotic within 90 days prior to death or the index …

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