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Death rate in older people with schizophrenia elevated compared with the general population

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Question: How do the death rate and cause of death in older people with schizophrenia compare with the general population?

Population: 9461  Adults aged over 65 on 1 January 1999 with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (international classification of diseases (ICD)8, ICD9 and ICD10). Data were taken from the PERFormance, Effectiveness and Cost of Treatment episodes (PERFECT) project which links information from different registers using the unique personal identification number of each Finnish citizen.

Setting: General population, Finland; January 1999–2008.

Prognostic factors: Diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. People with these diagnoses were identified using the Finnish Hospital Discharge Register and the register of disability pensions forms the Social Insurance Institution and the Pension Security Centre.

Outcomes: Death rate and cause of death. Outcomes were identified using the National Causes-of-Death Register of Statistics Finland (ICD10). Causes of death were classified as unnatural (suicides, accidents and murder) and natural (all other diagnoses). Standard mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated …

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