Physical Comorbidity and Causes of Death Among Schizophrenia Patients: A Retrospective Descriptive Study


  • Derya İpekçioğlu
  • Burcu Kök Kendirlioğlu

Received Date: 14.02.2019 Accepted Date: 05.03.2019 Med J Bakirkoy 2019;15(1):103-109


Schizophrenia is a chronical disorder that commonly starts in younger ages, leads to disability and early death. From the onset of the disease, close follow-up for general medical condition is of vital importance in prevention of pysical illnesses and extention of the lifetime as well as psycological benefits. In our study, the determination of physical comorbidity and causes of death among schizophrenia patients who hospitalized for treatment in chronic psychiatry services was aimed.


The files of 45 patients, hospitalized and treated at least five years in Bakirkoy Prof. Dr. Mazhar Osman Research and Training Hospital for Psychiatry, Neurology and Neurosurgery chronic psychiatry services between January 2006 and January 2013, diagnosed as schizophrenia according to the diagnostic criteria of DSM IV-TR, who died while their treatment and follow-up continuing were scanned retrospectively. Physical comorbidity present in admission files were determined according to ICD 10 diagnosis system. The sociodemographical and clinical findings were recorded to the data scan form prepared by researchers. The approval was got from ethical committee of our hospital. The data were analyzed by using statistical methods.


The patient with a mean age of death was 58.8±9.2 (range= 39-76). In 28.9% (n=13), there was falling story. The most common seen physical illnesses were; in 37.8% (n=17) chronic obstructive lung disease, in 33.3% (n=15) hypertension, in 17.8% (n=8) stroke and in 17.8% (n=8) coronary artery disease. It is determined that 48.9% (n=22) of the patients died because of circulating system disorders, 33.3% (n=15) died because of respiratory system disorders and 13.3% (n=6) died because of falling and secondary to trauma.


According to our findings, schizophrenia patients hospitalized and treated in chronic psychiatry services die at earlier ages than general population. Physical comorbidity and risk of fall trauma are high. The most common causes of death are circulating and respiratory system disorders. Results should be supported with prospective and comparative studies having more population numbers.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, chronic psychiatry service, physical comorbidity, causes of death

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