Suicide and other causes of death among working-age and older adults in the year after discharge from in-patient mental healthcare in England: matched cohort study

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Abstract

Background
Evidence for risk of dying by suicide and other causes following discharge from inpatient psychiatric care throughout adulthood is sparse.
Aims
To estimate risks of all-cause mortality, natural and external-cause deaths, suicide, and accidental, alcohol-specific and drug-related deaths in working-age and older adults within a year post-discharge.
Methods
Using interlinked general practice, hospital, and mortality records in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) we delineated a cohort of discharged adults in England, 2001-2018. Each patient was matched to up to 20 general population comparator patients. Cumulative incidence (absolute risks) and hazard ratios (relative risks) were estimated separately for ages 18-64 and 65+ years with additional stratification by gender and practice-level deprivation.
Outcomes
The 1-year cumulative incidence of dying post-discharge was 2.1% among working-age adults (95% CI 2.0-3.3) and 14.1% (13.6-14.5) among older adults. Suicide risk was particularly elevated in the first 3 months, with hazard ratios of 191·1 (125·0-292·0) among working-age adults and 125·4 (52·6-298·9) in older adults. Older patients were vulnerable to dying by natural causes within 3 months post-discharge. Risk of dying by external causes was greater among discharged working-age adults in the least deprived areas. Relative risk of suicide in discharged working-age women relative to their general population peers was double the equivalent male risk elevation.
Conclusion
Recently discharged adults at any age are at increased risk of dying from external and natural causes, indicating the importance of close monitoring and provision of optimal support to all such patients, particularly during the first 3 months post-discharge.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • discharge
  • epidemiology
  • In-patient treatment
  • mortality
  • suicide

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