Excessive mortality and causes of death among patients with personality disorder with comorbid psychiatric disorders

Chian Jue Kuo, Wen Yin Chen, Shang Ying Tsai, Pao Huan Chen, Kai Ting Ko, Chiao Chicy Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Excessive mortality has been seen in patients with personality disorder (PD), but it has not been well-studied when patients also have other psychiatric comorbidities. This study investigated the mortality rates and causes of death in an Asian cohort with PD. Method: We enrolled patients ≥ 18 years of age with PD as defined by DSM-IV criteria (N = 1172), who had been admitted to a psychiatric service center in northern Taiwan between 1985 and 2008. By linking with the national mortality database (1985–2008), cases of mortality (n = 156, 13.3%) were obtained. We calculated the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) to estimate the mortality gap between patients with PD and the general population. Stratified analyses of mortality rates by Axis I psychiatric comorbidity and sex were performed. Results: Borderline PD (n = 391, 33.4%) was the dominant disorder among the subjects. The SMRs for all-cause mortality of PD alone, PD comorbid with non-substance use disorder(non-SUD), and PD comorbid with SUD were 4.46 (95% CI 1.94–6.98), 7.42 (5.99–8.85), and 15.96 (11.07–20.85), respectively. Among the causes of death, the SMR for suicide was the highest (46.92, 95% CI 34.29–59.56). The SMR for suicide in PD patients with comorbid SUD was unusually high (74.23, 95% CI 33.88-114.58). Women had a significant increase in suicide with an SMR of 59.00 (95% CI 37.89–80.11). Men had significant increase in SMRs for cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disease. Conclusions: We found significant synergistic effects of PD and SUD on mortality risk. A personality assessment should be mandatory in all clinical settings to prevent premature death and detect SUD early.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 28 2019


  • Cause of death
  • Comorbidity
  • Personality disorder
  • Standard mortality ratio
  • Substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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