For decades, evidence has suggested that people with schizophrenia have shortened lifespans. In the early twentieth century, doctors observed that these patients tended to die younger and seemed less healthy than other patients in the same psychiatric hospitals. And today, schizophrenia patients appear to suffer from heart, lung and metabolic problems at a disproportionate rate — and at startlingly young ages.
There are tantalizing signs in the genes, too. Telomeres, the DNA tails attached to the end of chromosomes that shorten each time a cell divides, are often used as a marker of biological ageing. Several small studies have documented shorter telomeres in patients with schizophrenia, but a larger 2013 study failed to replicate these results — in fact they found longer telomeres in people with the disease. These apparently contradictory results are confounded by the fact the studies used different methodologies and examined different populations, ranging from antipsychotic-naive patients to those who have had poor responses to the drugs.
Read the full, original story: Ageing: Live faster, die younger