Mental Disorders and Premature Mortality

- Investigating mortality in specific types of mental disorders

It is well known that people with mental disorders die earlier than the general population. Research from the Niels Bohr Professorship research programme offers a comprehensive study of premature mortality in specific types of mental disorders.

The research, which is done in collaboration with researchers from University of Queensland and Aarhus University, investigated how mortality rates change for each type of disorder, for each age, for males and females. In addition to looking at premature mortality, we were also able to explore specific causes of death such as cancer, diabetes and suicide. All results are published in the study “A comprehensive analysis of mortality-related health metrics associated with mental disorders: a nationwide register-based cohort study. Based on register data from 7,4 million persons living in Denmark between 1995 and 2015, it is the most comprehensive study ever done on mortality in persons with mental disorders. 

The study reveals that men and women with mental disorders on average have life expectancy respectively 10 and 7 years shorter after the diagnosis of the disease compared to an overall Danish person of the same age. Additionally, the study show, that people with a mental disorder do not only have an increased risk of death due to unnatural causes such as suicide, but also due to somatic conditions like cancer, respiratory diseases, diabetes etc. This emphasises the urgent need to improve general health for people with mental disorders

All results are available on our interactive webpage: It offers professionals and the general public access to examine risks of premature mortality according to age, sex and age of onset in each type of mental disorder. We hope that the interactive webpage will make our results more widely understood by clinicians, people with mental disorders and their caregivers.

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Mortality associated with mental disorders