Schizophrenic patients in mental hospitals die at a younger age than the normal population. To a lesser but significant extent, this is also true of former schizophrenic patients dying out of the hospital. Schizophrenic males live as long or longer than schizophrenic females, a reversal of the sex difference in the general population. In a study covering a 60-year period, these are the findings of Niswander, Haslerud, and Mitchell,1 as reported in the September issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.
These authors found that cause of death of schizophrenic patients dying in mental hospitals was similar to that in the normal population, except deaths attributable to accidents and suicide which were fewer in the schizophrenic group. Also similar to figures for the general population was the consistent increase in cardiovascular-renal disease, as well as the rate of death from this disease in male and female schizophrenics over 50