Keys to schizophrenic longevity found

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People with schizophrenia are likely to live a longer life if they take antipsychotic drugs on schedule, avoid high doses, and see a mental health professional, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say. 

Investigators discovered that in patients who had 90% or better compliance with their medication schedules, the risk of death was 25% lower when compared to those who were less than 10% compliant. 

The researchers analyzed data collected between 1994 through 2004 on 2,100 adult Maryland Medicaid beneficiaries with schizophrenia. The researchers reviewed adherence to the 2009 pharmacological Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) guidelines associated with mortality in this population. 

The results of the study, supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute of Mental Health, were first published online in Schizophrenia Bulletin on Oct. 30.
Schizophrenia patients who stay on “reasonable, recommended doses” are more likely to live longer, said lead study author Bernadette A. Cullen, M.D., a Hopkins assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. n