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Reduced all-cause mortality with antipsychotics and antidepressants compared to increased all-cause mortality with benzodiazepines in patients with schizophrenia observed in naturalistic treatment settings
  1. Jose M Rubio1,
  2. Christoph U Corell1,2,3
  1. 1Department of Psychiatry Research, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, Northwell Health, Glen Oaks, New York, USA;
  2. 2Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine, Hempstead, New York, USA;
  3. 3The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Christoph U Corell, Department of Psychiatry, The Zucker Hillside Hospital, 75-59 263rd Street, Glen Oaks, NY 11004, USA; ccorrell{at}northwell.edu

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ABSTRACT FROM: Tiihonen J, Mittendorfer-Rutz E, Torniainen M et al. Mortality and cumulative exposure to antipsychotics, antidepressants, and benzodiazepines in patients with schizophrenia: an observational follow-up study. Am J Psychiatry 2016;173:600–6.

What is already known on this topic

Individuals with schizophrenia die ∼15–20 years prematurely compared to the general population, mostly due to cardiovascular disease, obesity-related cancer, diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.1 Owing to the known metabolic effects of antipsychotics,2 clarifying their role in increased mortality is important. Paradoxically, prior studies in schizophrenia have suggested a relative decrement in mortality with moderate antipsychotic doses compared to no antipsychotic exposure. Cohort studies have indicated an elevated mortality risk with benzodiazepines in several populations, but adjustment for other treatment variables has been limited.

Methods of the study

A cohort of 21 492 individuals aged 17–65 years old who lived in Sweden in 2005 and who received treatment for schizophrenia prior to the beginning of 2006 was followed for 5 years. This cohort was derived from nationwide registers representing all contacts with healthcare in Sweden during the study period. The cumulative prescription of antipsychotics, benzodiazepines and antidepressants was the exposure variable, measured by national …

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