Excerpt from: The New York Times (click for full article)
Compared with the rest of the population, people with mental illness may be at sharply increased risk of dying by homicide, a new study has found.
Researchers used Swedish government registries to determine psychiatric diagnoses and causes of death among the entire adult population of 7.2 million from 2001 to 2008. There were 615 murders in the period, 141 of them of people with mental disorders. (The homicide rate in Sweden is about one-fifth that of the United States.)
After controlling for age, education level, income and other factors, they found that people with mental illness were almost five times as likely to be a victim of murder as a person without a psychiatric diagnosis. The study appeared online last week in the journal BMJ.
The risk was highest among those with substance use disorders — nine times that of the general population. Those with personality disorders had three times the risk, people with depression two and a half times, and those with anxiety or schizophrenia about twice the risk of being murdered, compared with people without mental illness.