Affective systems can deteriorate the quality of life, and some studies have also associated them with mortality. However, there’s no strong evidence that suggests the association between long-term affective symptoms and premature mortality. This study aims to evaluate how lifetime accumulation of affective symptoms is related to premature mortality.

This study included a total of 3,001 study members (1509 [50.3%] female, 1492 [49.7%] male) with affective symptoms assessed at age 13-15 years, 36 years, 43 years, and 53 years through different questionnaires and interviews. Case-level effective symptoms were identified, and the primary outcome of the study was mortality.

During the follow-up of 15 years, 235 (7.8%) of 3,001 study members died. After adjusting the outcomes for sex, the participants who experienced case-level affective symptoms once, twice, and thrice had a 76%, 87%, and 134% higher risk of premature mortality, respectively. Symptoms during adolescence were associated with the highest rate (94%) of mortality. Individuals with frequent case-level symptoms (3-4 times) had a higher number of health conditions, anxiolytic use, lung function, and physical activity.

The research concluded that the lifetime accumulation of affective symptoms was strongly associated with an increased risk of premature mortality, with the risk being highest in adolescents.