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Schizophrenia Patients Who Take Antipsychotics Live Longer, Study Says
Date:11/14/2012

ol of Medicine, in Baltimore, said in a university news release.

The study was published online Oct. 30 in the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin.

"We know that antipsychotic medications reduce symptoms, and our study shows that staying on reasonable, recommended doses is associated with longer life," Cullen said. "The same is true for going to see a psychiatrist or therapist."

Cullen noted that regular visits to a mental-health professional are one way to monitor and encourage drug-use compliance, but also in and of themselves increase survival among schizophrenia patients.

"If people are taking their medications, they usually have fewer symptoms and are able to be more organized in other areas of their lives," said Cullen, who also is director of community psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.

"We believe they are then more likely to make appointments with their primary care doctors, to stay on top of other illnesses they may have and to regularly take diabetes, blood pressure or cholesterol medication that they may require to stay healthy," she said. "We also believe that they are more likely to be socially engaged and have a healthier lifestyle."

Although the researchers found an association between strict antipsychotic drug regimens and longer life among people with schizophrenia, they did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about schizophrenia.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Johns Hopkins Medicine, news release, November 2012


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