SAGE Journals

Age Effect on Incidence, Physical, and Psychiatric Comorbidity for Sudden Cardiac Death in Schizophrenia: Effet de l’âge sur l’incidence, la comorbidité physique et psychiatrique de la mort cardiaque subite dans la schizophrénie

Posted on 2020-08-18 - 12:12

The pathogenesis of sudden cardiac death may differ between younger and older adults in schizophrenia, but evidence remains scant. This study investigated the age effect on the incidence and risk of the physical and psychiatric comorbidity for sudden cardiac death.


Using 2000 to 2016 data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database and Department of Health Death Certification System, we identified a national cohort of 170,322 patients with schizophrenia, 1,836 of whom had a sudden cardiac death. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were estimated. Hazard ratios and population attributable fractions of distinctive comorbidities for sudden cardiac death were assessed.


The SMRs of sudden cardiac death were all >1.00 across each age group for both sexes, with the highest SMR in male patients aged <35 years (30.88, 95% CI: 26.18–36.18). The fractions of sudden cardiac death attributable to hypertension and congestive heart failure noticeably increased with age. By contrast, the fraction attributable to drug-induced mental disorder decreased with age. Additionally, chronic hepatic disease and sleep disorder increased the risk of sudden cardiac death in patients aged <35 years. Dementia and organic mental disorder elevated the risk in patients aged between 35–54 years. Ischemic heart disease raised the risk in patients aged ≥55 years.


The risk is increased across the lifespan in schizophrenia, particularly for younger male patients. Furthermore, physical and psychiatric comorbidities have age-dependent risks. The findings suggest that prevention strategies targeted toward sudden cardiac death in patients with schizophrenia must consider the age effect.


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