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Child Psychiatrist /Adult Psychiatrist

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Linked to Increased Mortality

Increased hazard ratios were seen for all-cause mortality and mortality due to natural and unnatural causes.

HealthDay News — Individuals with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) have an increased risk for all-cause mortality, according to a study published online Jan. 17 in The BMJ.


Lorena Fernández de la Cruz, Ph.D., from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues conducted a population-based matched cohort and sibling cohort study to estimate the risk for all-cause and cause-specific mortality in people with OCD. The population-based cohort included 61,378 people with OCD and 613,780 unaffected people matched on sex, birth year, and county of residence; the sibling cohort included 34,085 people with OCD and 47,874 unaffected full siblings. The cohorts were followed for a median of 8.1 years.

During the study period, 4,787 people with OCD and 30,619 unaffected people died (crude mortality rates, 8.1 and 5.1 per 1,000 person-years, respectively). The researchers found that people with OCD had an increased risk for all-cause mortality and mortality due to natural causes and unnatural causes (hazard ratios, 1.82, 1.31, and 3.30, respectively) in hazard models adjusted for birth year, sex, county, migrant status, and sociodemographic variables. In the OCD cohort, higher natural causes of death included those due to endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic diseases; mental and behavioral disorders; and diseases of the nervous, circulatory, respiratory, digestive, and genitourinary systems; conversely, the risk for death due to neoplasms was lower. Of unnatural causes, the highest hazard ratio was seen for suicide followed by accidents.

“Better surveillance, prevention, and early intervention strategies should be implemented to reduce the risk of fatal outcomes in people with OCD,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical, publishing, and medical technology industries.

This article originally appeared on Psychiatry Advisor

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