Aims We aimed to investigate the trajectories of absolute and relative risks of cause-specific mortality among patients discharged from inpatient psychiatric services. Methods We conducted a national matched cohort study (2002–2013) using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database linked to national cause-of-death data files. Patients discharged from inpatient psychiatric care without prior psychiatric hospitalizations were individually matched to 20 comparison individuals based on sex and age. The rates, rate differences, and relative risks (hazard ratios, HRs) of cause-specific mortality were calculated at six follow-up periods post-discharge. Cumulative mortality incidence was assessed at 5 years of follow-up. Results The mortality risks of all causes were increased among patients (n = 158 065) relative to comparison individuals (n = 3 161 300). Mortality rate differences were greater for natural causes, while relative risks (HRs) were higher for unnatural causes. Suicide was the leading cause of death within the first year of discharge, while circulatory and respiratory diseases were the leading causes of death from the second year. The mortality rates and HRs for all causes of death (except homicide) were highest during the first 3 months. The elevated risk of unnatural-cause mortality declined rapidly after discharge but remained high in the long term; in contrast, risk elevation for natural-cause mortality was more stable over time. Approximately one-eighth of patients (12.9 952.7–13.7 died within 5 years of follow-up. Conclusions Integrated physical and mental health care is needed to reduce excess mortality, particularly during the first 3 months post-discharge, among psychiatric patients.
- cause-specific mortality
- cumulative incidence of mortality
- natural-cause mortality
- psychiatric inpatient