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Updated January 26th, 2024 at 16:55 IST

Shocking Fact: People With OCD Face Higher Risk Of Early Death - Study

A study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has found a distressing link between obsessive-compulsive disorder and premature death

Rishi Shukla
People With OCD Face Higher Risk Of Early Death
People With OCD Face Higher Risk Of Early Death | Image:ANI
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A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden has uncovered a distressing link between obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and premature death. This comprehensive research, explores the factors contributing to an 82 percent higher risk of early mortality for individuals battling OCD.

Background: While prior research hinted at an increased mortality rate associated with OCD, this study is a game-changer by going beyond the commonly known connection to suicide. The causes of premature death in people with OCD have been insufficiently examined, prompting a four-decade-long analysis spanning from 1973 to 2020.

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Study Details: The research involved a cohort of 61,378 individuals diagnosed with OCD, meticulously compared against a control group of 613,780 individuals without the disorder. The findings highlighted a significant disparity in average life expectancy, with those afflicted by OCD experiencing premature mortality at an average age of 69, compared to their counterparts without the disorder who lived until an average age of 78.

Impact of OCD on Daily Life: OCD, affecting approximately 2 percent of the population, manifests as distressing intrusive thoughts coupled with compulsive rituals aimed at alleviating discomfort. Beyond its recognized impact on mental well-being, the disorder significantly hampers daily life, impacting relationships, social engagement, and overall functioning.

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Contributors to Premature Mortality: The study's conclusion points to non-communicable diseases and external causes of death, including suicides and accidents, as major contributors to the elevated risk of mortality in individuals with OCD. This underlines the need for a holistic approach to understanding and addressing the specific health implications associated with OCD.

Call for Action: The findings underscore the urgency of further investigation into the health implications associated with OCD. The researchers advocate for better surveillance, prevention, and early intervention strategies to mitigate the risk of fatal outcomes in individuals with OCD. This revelation opens the door to a new frontier in mental health research, emphasizing the critical need for targeted efforts to enhance the overall well-being and longevity of those affected by OCD.

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Road Ahead: As we grapple with the revelations from this groundbreaking study, it is clear that the impact of OCD extends beyond its immediate mental health consequences. The quest for a deeper understanding of the relationship between OCD and premature mortality calls for collaborative efforts from the scientific community, mental health professionals, and policymakers. 

It is imperative to implement effective strategies to reduce the risk of fatal outcomes in individuals battling OCD, fostering a healthier and more supportive environment for their overall well-being.

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Published January 26th, 2024 at 16:51 IST

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