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Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may increase risk of death: Study | health news


People with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) may have a higher risk of dying from both natural and unnatural causes than people without the disorder, a study has found. OCD is usually a long-term mental disorder that affects about 2 percent of the population.

It is characterized by intrusive thoughts, urges, or images that trigger high levels of anxiety and other distressing feelings — known as obsessions — that the person tries to neutralize by engaging in repetitive behaviors or rituals — known as compulsions.

OCD is also associated with increased risk of academic underachievement, poor job prospects, alcohol and substance use disorders, and death.

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The study, published in The BMJ, revealed that people with OCD were more likely to die from natural causes, such as respiratory diseases (73 percent), mental and behavioral disorders (58 percent), genital diseases (55 percent) percent), endocrine, Nutrition, and metabolic diseases (47 percent), diseases of the circulatory system (33 percent), nervous system (21 percent), and digestive system (20 percent).

Among uncommon causes, suicide showed an increased risk of death (about a fivefold increased risk), followed by accidents (a 92 percent increased risk).

Researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute point out that many natural causes of death are preventable, suggesting that people with OCD should implement better surveillance, prevention and early intervention strategies to reduce the risk of fatal outcomes.

The risk of death from all causes was similar for both men and women, although women with OCD had a higher relative risk of death from non-causes than men with OCD, possibly because of the lower baseline risk in women in the general population. . Researchers.

In contrast, people with OCD had a 10 percent lower risk of dying from tumors (neoplasms). For the study, the researchers used data from 61,378 Swedish people with OCD and 613,780 people without OCD, and a further sibling of 34,085 people with OCD and 47,874 people without OCD.

The mean age of OCD diagnosis was 27 years and the cohorts were observed for an average of 8 years from January 1973 to December 2020. Overall, individuals with OCD had higher mortality rates than matched individuals without OCD (8.1 vs. 5.1 per 1,000 person-years, respectively).

People with OCD have an 82 percent increased risk of dying from any cause. The excess risk of death was high for both natural (31 percent increased risk), and, in particular, unnatural causes of death (a 3-fold increased risk). “This is an observational study, so it cannot establish causation,” the researchers said.