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Psychiatric and medical diagnoses as risk factors for mortality in psychiatric patients: a case-control study
Am J Psychiatry 1987;144:208-211.
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Abstract

On the basis of a case-control study, the authors conclude that former psychiatric inpatients are more likely than control subjects to die of both natural and unnatural causes within 2 years of discharge. Patients who committed suicide were more likely to have had a diagnosis of affective disorder (unipolar depression) or alcoholism. Those who died of natural causes were more likely to have been admitted with medical diagnoses; no specific psychiatric diagnoses were associated with these deaths. It is doubtful that medical illnesses caused psychiatric syndromes such as depression in these inpatients. Psychiatric and medical illnesses combined may increase a patient's likelihood of seeking psychiatric help and entering the hospital.

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