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Cause-specific mortality in Swedish males diagnosed with non-psychotic mental disorders in late adolescence: a prospective population-based study


Background While risk of premature death is most pronounced among persons with severe mental illness, also milder conditions are associated with increased all-cause mortality. We examined non-psychotic mental (NPM) disorders and specific causes of natural death in a cohort of late adolescent men followed for up to 46 years.

Methods Prospective cohort study of Swedish males (n=1 784 626) who took part in structured conscription interviews 1968–2005. 74 525 men were diagnosed with NPM disorders at or prior to conscription. Median follow-up time was 26 years. HRs for cause-specific mortality were calculated using Cox proportional hazards models.

Results Risks in fully adjusted models were particularly elevated for death by infectious diseases (depressive and neurotic/adjustment disorders (HR 2.07; 95% CI 1.60 to 2.67), personality disorders (HR 2.90; 95% CI 1.96 to 4.28) and alcohol-related and other substance use disorders (HR 9.02; 95% CI 6.63 to 12.27)) as well as by gastrointestinal causes (depressive and neurotic/adjustment disorders (HR 1.64; 95% CI 1.42 to 1.89), personality disorders (HR 2.77; 95% CI 2.27 to 3.38) and alcohol-related/substance use disorders (HR 4.41; 95% CI 3.59 to 5.42)).

Conclusion Young men diagnosed with NPM disorders had a long-term increased mortality risk, in particular due to infectious and gastrointestinal conditions. These findings highlight the importance of early preventive actions for adolescents with mental illness.

  • depression
  • adolescents CG
  • alcohol
  • mortality
  • cohort studies

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