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Excess mortality of acute and transient psychotic disorders: comparison with bipolar affective disorder and schizophrenia


Augusto C. Castagnini, Centre for Psychiatric Research, Aarhus University Hospital, Skovagervej 2, 8240 Risskov, Denmark.




To investigate mortality and causes of death of short-lived psychotic disorders, by carrying out a comparison with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.


Record linkage study to the official register of causes of death of all cases aged 15–64 years who were listed for the first time in the Danish Psychiatric Register between 1995 and 2008 with an ICD-10 diagnosis of ‘acute and transient psychotic disorders’ (ATPDs; n = 4157), bipolar disorder (n = 3200) and schizophrenia (n = 4576).


A total of 232 patients (5.6%) with ATPDs, 172 (5.4%) with bipolar disorder and 233 (5.1%) with schizophrenia had died over a mean follow-up period of 6.6 years. The standardized mortality ratio for all causes, natural causes and unnatural causes was significantly high for the three conditions. Mortality of ATPDs was greater in men, with about two-thirds of all deaths resulting from natural causes mainly cardiovascular, digestive, neoplastic and respiratory diseases. Suicide was the major cause of premature death in patients with ATPDs.


These findings suggest that ATPDs are associated with an increased mortality from both natural causes and suicide.