For more than a decade researchers have documented premature mortality among people with serious mental illness. Recent work has focused on causes of early death and preventable risk factors. The lead article this month reports findings from a comparison of death records over seven years for individuals with and without serious mental illness living in the same community. Elizabeth E. Piatt, Ph.D., and colleagues found that overall, YPLL (years of potential life lost) for decedents with serious mental illness was 14.5, compared with 10.3 for those without serious mental illness. Differences in causes of death did not explain the difference in YPLL. When analyses adjusted for sociodemographic factors, differences in YPLL were found for all causes and were highest for accidents (13.1 years), followed by suicide (9.7 years), cancer and septicemia (5.0 years each), and liver disease (4.8 years) (page 663). In addition to years of life lost in this population, are there disparities in end-of-life care? When Linda Ganzini, M.D., M.P.H., and colleagues examined indicators of palliative care in medical records of veterans who died of cancer, they found that those with schizophrenia received comparable or better care than those without this disorder (page 725). To effectively treat and prevent disease in any population, physicians rely on patients' reports of their health status, and some have questioned whether symptoms bias psychiatric patients' reports. In a study of 151 African-American inpatients with schizophrenia, Arthur L. Whaley, Ph.D., Dr.P.H., used statistical modeling to construct a map of the effects of symptoms, psychological factors, and demographic variables on global self-reported health. All the variables had some effect, but the best model was one in which demographic factors were removed, and it showed that the psychological factors of self-esteem and lack of trust had a more significant effect on self-reports than psychiatric symptoms (page 669).