Eight-year trends of cardiometabolic morbidity and mortality in patients with schizophrenia

General Hospital Psychiatry, 04/24/2012

Veteran Affairs (VA) patients with and without schizophrenia show increasing but similar prevalence rates of cardiometabolic diseases. Years of potential life lost were high in both groups and only slightly higher among patients with schizophrenia. The findings highlight the complex population served by the VA while suggesting a smaller mortality impact from schizophrenia than previously reported.


  • The authors compared 65,362 patients in the Veteran Affairs (VA) health system with schizophrenia to 65,362 VA patients without serious mental illness (non-SMI) matched on age, service access year and location.
  • The annual prevalence of diagnosed cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, obesity, and all-cause and cause-specific mortality was compared for fiscal years 2000–2007.
  • Mean years of potential life lost (YPLLs) were calculated annually.


  • The cohort was mostly male (88%) with a mean age of 54 years.
  • Cardiometabolic disease prevalence increased in both groups, with non-SMI patients having higher disease prevalence in most years.
  • Annual between-group differences ranged from <1% to 6%.
  • Annual mortality was stable over time for schizophrenia (3.1%) and non-SMI patients (2.6%).
  • Annual mean YPLLs increased from 12.8 to 15.4 in schizophrenia and from 11.8 to 14.0 for non-SMI groups.

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