Patients with schizophrenia have significantly greater mortality rates than the general population, with an estimated reduced lifespan of 10–20 years. We previously reported on a link between impairment in cognition and premature death in a prospective 20-year study. Patients who had died prematurely showed neurocognitive impairment in nine different cognitive tests compared to those who did not. Based on those findings, in this study the surviving patients in the cohort were divided into three different groups based on neurocognitive impairment and compared on symptom severity including remission status, RAND-36, weight and BMI at onset of illness and baseline of the study, and medical/physical symptomatology (i.e., blood pressure, symptom awareness, vertigo and orthostatic symptoms). Differences were most prominent between the cognitively unimpaired and severely cognitively impaired (SCI) groups, with remission, negative symptoms, general symptoms and PANSS total scores differing. For SF-36 (RAND) Physical functioning and Role limitations due to physical health subscales the SCI were worst. The findings indicate that greater impairments in cognitive ability during the illness are associated with several potential indicators of risk for early mortality. Together these factors may be of guidance for establishing an algorithm to detect patients at risk of premature death early in their illness.
- Early detection of risk factors
- Premature death
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Biological Psychiatry