A meta-review, or review of systematic reviews, was conducted to explore the risks of all-cause and suicide mortality in major mental disorders. A systematic search generated 407 relevant reviews, of which 20 reported mortality risks in 20 different mental disorders and included over 1.7 million patients and over a quarter of a million deaths. All disorders had an increased risk of all-cause mortality compared with the general population, and many had mortality risks larger than or comparable to heavy smoking. Those with the highest all-cause mortality ratios were substance use disorders and anorexia nervosa. These higher mortality risks translate into substantial (10-20 years) reductions in life expectancy. Borderline personality disorder, anorexia nervosa, depression and bipolar disorder had the highest suicide risks. Notable gaps were identified in the review literature, and the quality of the included reviews was typically low. The excess risks of mortality and suicide in all mental disorders justify a higher priority for the research, prevention, and treatment of the determinants of premature death in psychiatric patients.
Keywords: Mortality; anorexia nervosa; mental disorders; meta-review; substance use disorders; suicide.
Copyright © 2014 World Psychiatric Association.