This paper reports on an extensive investigation on the degradation mechanisms that may limit the long term reliability of heterogeneous III-V/Silicon DBR laser diodes for integrated telecommunication applications in the 1.55 μm window. The devices under test, aged for up to 500 hours under different bias conditions, showed a gradual variation of both optical (L-I) and electrical (I-V, C-V) characteristics. In particular, the laser diodes exhibited an increase in the threshold current, a decrease of the turn-on voltage and an increase in the apparent charge density within the space-charge region, which was extrapolated from C-V measurements. For longer stress times, these two latter processes were found to be well correlated with the worsening of the optical parameters, which suggests that degradation occurred due to an increase in the density of defects within the active region, with consequent decrease in the non-radiative (SRH) lifetime. This conclusion is also supported by the fact that during stress the apparent charge profiles indicated a re-distribution of charge within the junction. A preliminary investigation on the physical origin of the defects responsible for degradation was carried out by DLTS measurements, which revealed the presence of five different deep levels, with a main trap located around 0.43 eV above the valence band energy. This trap was found to be compatible with an interface defect located between the In0.53AlxGa0.47-xAs SCH region and the InP layer.