Background: People with schizophrenia have significantly raised mortality but we do not know how these mortality patterns in the UK have changed since the 1990s.
Aims: To measure the 25-year mortality of people with schizophrenia with particular focus on changes over time.
Method: Prospective record linkage study of the mortality of a community cohort of 370 people with schizophrenia.
Results: The cohort had an all-cause standardised mortality ratio of 289 (95% CI 247-337). Most deaths were from the common causes seen in the general population. Unnatural deaths were concentrated in the first 5 years of follow-up. There was an indication that cardiovascular mortality may have increased relative to the general population (P = 0.053) over the course of the study.
Conclusions: People with schizophrenia have a mortality risk that is two to three times that of the general population. Most of the extra deaths are from natural causes. The apparent increase in cardiovascular mortality relative to the general population should be of concern to anyone with an interest in mental health.