Life expectancy at birth and all-cause mortality among people with personality disorder

J Psychosom Res. 2012 Aug;73(2):104-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2012.05.001. Epub 2012 May 26.


Objective: It is well established that serious mental illness is associated with raised mortality, yet few studies have looked at the life expectancy of people with personality disorder (PD). This study aims to examine the life expectancy and relative mortality in people with PD within secondary mental health care.

Methods: We set out to examine this using a large psychiatric case register in southeast London, UK. Mortality was obtained through national mortality tracing procedures. In a cohort of patients with a primary diagnosis of PD (n=1836), standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) and life expectancies at birth were calculated, using general population mortality statistics as the comparator.

Results: Life expectancy at birth was 63.3 years for women and 59.1 years for men with PD-18.7 years and 17.7 years shorter than females and males respectively in the general population in England and Wales. The SMR was 4.2 (95% CI: 3.03-5.64) overall; 5.0 (95% CI: 3.15-7.45) for females and 3.5 (95% CI: 2.17-5.47) for males. The highest SMRs were found in the younger age groups for both genders.

Conclusion: People with PD using mental health services have a substantially reduced life expectancy, highlighting the significant public health burden of the disorder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy*
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality Disorders / mortality*
  • Risk Factors