Life expectancy among persons with schizophrenia or bipolar affective disorder

Schizophr Res. 2011 Sep;131(1-3):101-4. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.06.008. Epub 2011 Jul 7.


Context: Mortality rates among individuals with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are elevated compared to the general population.

Objective: The objective was to estimate life-expectancy (average age at death) among these persons and make a comparison to people in the general population.

Methods: Life-expectancy was calculated by means of survival analysis techniques using the entire Danish population as a cohort.

Results: Life-expectancy was 18.7 years shorter for schizophrenic men compared to men in the general population. Corresponding numbers for schizophrenic women was 16.3 years, for bipolar men 13.6 years, and for bipolar women 12.1 years.

Conclusions: Life-expectancy was much shorter in persons with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Excess mortality from physical diseases and medical conditions exerts a far greater influence on the curtailed life-expectancy, when compared against the impact of death by external causes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Bipolar Disorder / mortality*
  • Community Health Planning
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenia / mortality*
  • Sex Factors
  • Young Adult