Psychiatric disorder in early adulthood and risk of premature mortality in the 1946 British Birth Cohort

BMC Psychiatry. 2011 Mar 8;11:37. doi: 10.1186/1471-244X-11-37.


Background: Few studies of the association between psychiatric disorder and premature death have adjusted for key confounders and used structured psychiatric interviews. We aimed to investigate if psychiatric disorder was associated with a higher risk of mortality and whether any excess mortality was due to suicide, or explained by other health or socioeconomic risk factors.

Methods: We used data from the MRC National Survey of Health and Development, a nationally representative UK birth cohort. 3283 men and women completed the Present State Examination at age 36. The main outcome measure was all-cause mortality before age 60.

Results: Those with psychiatric disorder at age 36 had a higher risk of death even after adjusting for potential confounders (Hazard ratio = 1.84, 95% C.I. 1.22-2.78). Censoring violent deaths and suicides led to similar results.

Conclusions: Psychiatric disorder was associated with excess premature mortality not explained by suicide or other health or socioeconomic risk factors.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cause of Death*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / mortality*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*