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History of severe mental illness is more common in men convicted of a sexual offence than in men in the general population

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Does a history of psychiatric hospitalisation or mental health disorder increase likelihood of men being convicted for a sexual offence?

Fazel S, Sjostedt G, Langstrom N, et al. Severe mental illness and risk of sexual offending in men: a case-control study based on Swedish national registers. J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68:588–96.


Embedded ImageDesign:

Case-control study.

Embedded ImageFollow up period:

Thirteen years.

Embedded ImageSetting:

Swedish registers on socioeconomic information, inpatient health care, and crime between 1988 and 2000.

Embedded ImagePeople:

8495 men convicted of a sexual offence (cases) and 19 935 men from the general population (controls) aged 15 years or older. Men who committed sexual offences were identified using the Swedish Crime Register 1988 to 2000. If a man had more than one conviction, the first was used as the index case. Prostitution, hiring prostitutes and possession of child pornography were not defined as sexual offences for the purposes of this study. …

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  • Source of funding: United Kingdom National Health Service Research and Development Programme on Forensic Mental Health.


  • Competing interests: None.