Long-term mortality in persons with co-existing epilepsy and mental disorders

Background

This is a nation-wide cohort study of people born in Denmark between 1960 and 1987.

Data on age, sex, death, diagnoses and sociodemographic status will be retrieved from the Danish Civil Registration System, the Danish Psychiatric Central Register, the Danish National Health Register, and the Integrated Database for Labor Market Research.

People will be divided into four groups according to exposure: people with epilepsy; people with schizophrenia; people with epilepsy and schizophrenia and healthy people (i.e. persons without epilepsy and psychiatric disorders).

The outcome measures are the overall mortality rate ratio and the cumulated incidences for overall death at the age of 50 years. 

Objectives

The main aim of this Research Year study is:

  • To examine whether comorbidity between epilepsy and schizophrenia will result in excess premature mortality compared with people with epilepsy, people with schizophrenia and a control group (without epilepsy and psychiatric disease)

Perspectives

People with schizophrenia have a reduced lifetime expectancy of 10-25 years, and people with epilepsy have a reduced lifetime expectancy of 11-13 years.

This study will contribute to existing knowledge by providing an updated estimate on the overall death of people with epilepsy and schizophrenia and studying the combination of the two disorders.

We will also provide an easily interpretable measure by computing cumulated incidences for overall mortality. This new measure might create more awareness of the burden of premature death among people with epilepsy and schizophrenia. The measure may also assist clinicians in developing strategies for early diagnosis and sufficient treatment of comorbidities in order to reduce the mortality in this group of patients.