Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Increasing rates of premature death, conviction for a violent crime in people with schizophrenia since 1970s, study shows

That is the title of this article I am writing about today.  We have heard from previous articles how people with schizophrenia die earlier than the rest of the population this article goes further. “New research, published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal, show that rates of adverse outcomes, including premature death and violent crime, in people with schizophrenia are increasing, compared to the general population.  The results come from a unique study, led by Dr Seena Fazel, at Oxford University, UK, which analyses long-term adverse outcomes—including conviction for a violent crime (such as homicide or bodily harm), premature death (before the age of 56), and death by suicide – between 1972 and 2009 in nearly 25,000 people in Sweden diagnosed with schizophrenia or related disorders.”  It is people with a mental illness.  That age 56 is still young to be dying so early.  I guess I really have to watch myself if I want to live to see my grandchildren grow up and get settled.
The article goes on to say: “Overall, the results show that within five years of diagnosis, around 1 in 50 men and women with schizophrenia (2.3% of men and 1.7% of women) died by suicide; around one in 10 (10.7% of men and around one in 37 (2.7%) of women with schizophrenia were convicted of a violent offence within five years of diagnosis.  Overall, men and women with schizophrenia were eight times more likely to die prematurely than the general population.  Analysing the changing rate of adverse outcomes across the study period (1972—2009), the researchers found that the risk of premature death, suicide, and conviction for a violent offence has increased for men and women with schizophrenia in the last 38 years, compared with both the general population, and their unaffected siblings.”  If you read the news about people getting more violent than you have to look at the whole population that is getting more violent than when I was growing up in the seventies.  People did not go around shooting up malls and such as they do now.
Finally the article says: “According to Dr Fazel, ‘In recent years, there has been a lot of focus on primary prevention of schizophrenia – preventing people from getting ill.  While primary prevention is clearly essential and may be some decades away, our study highlights the crucial importance of secondary prevention –treating and managing the risks of adverse outcomes, such as self-harm or violent behavior, in patients.  Risks of these adverse outcomes relative to others in society appear to be increasing in recent decades, suggesting that there is still much work to be done in developing new treatments and mitigating the risks of adverse outcomes in people with schizophrenia.’ However, they add that, ‘importantly, we should remember that, when reporting about the intricate links between schizophrenia and these adverse outcomes, most people with schizophrenia and related disorders are neither violent or suicidal. Despite the need to ensure people with schizophrenia are provided help to reduce their risks of suicide, violence, or premature death, researchers reporting findings also bear the burden of ensuring that most people with schizophrenia and related disorders, who are not violent, are not left to contend with stigma and discrimination.  Policy makers, researchers, and clinicians need to remember the importance of appropriately weighing up the issue of schizophrenia relative to the myriad of other factors that contribute to increased risk of violence and suicide.”  I guess working out and taking my walks I have to make sure I do to stay healthy.  That is about the only thing that worries me because you hear as you get older your body starts to get old also and wear down.  Life’s ups and downs are enough to handle without worrying if I am going to die early or not.  I know that I want to be there as my grandchildren grow up because life is hard and I need to be there when they have problems so I can help.

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