OBJECTIVE: Schizophrenia is associated with a shortened life expectancy and increased somatic comorbidity with, e.g., cardiovascular disorders. One major risk factor for these disorders is the metabolic syndrome, which has been reported to have a higher frequency in schizophrenic patients. Our objective was to study the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a population-based birth cohort. METHOD: The study sample consisted of 5613 members of the Northern Finland 1966 Birth Cohort who participated in the field study from 1997 to 1998. Subjects were divided into 4 diagnostic categories (DSM-III-R): (1) schizophrenia (N = 31), (2) other functional psychoses (N = 22), (3) nonpsychotic disorders (N = 105), and (4) no psychiatric hospital treatment (N = 5455, comparison group). Subjects were assessed for the presence of metabolic syndrome according to the criteria of the National Cholesterol Education Program. RESULTS: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was higher in subjects with schizophrenia compared with the comparison group (19% vs. 6%, p = .010). The prevalence of metabolic syndrome in subjects with other psychoses was 5%. After controlling for sex, the results of logistic regression analysis showed that the risk of metabolic syndrome in schizophrenia was 3.7 (95% CI = 1.5 to 9.0). CONCLUSIONS: The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in schizophrenia even at such a relatively young age underscores the need to select antipsychotic medications with no or little capability to induce metabolic side effects. Also, developing comprehensive efforts directed at controlling weight and diet and improving physical activity are needed.
To perform a retrospective survey of discharge medications at a tertiary care psychiatric facility and to assess the incidence of antipsychotic polypharmacy.
This is a retrospective survey that used the Department of Pharmacy's computer database to obtain relevant discharge information on all nongeriatric patients with schizophrenia discharged from Riverview Hospital between November 1, 1996 and October 31, 1998. From a total of 492 eligible patients, 229 met the inclusion criteria and formed the database for the survey.
The main finding of the survey was that 27.5% of our discharged patients diagnosed with schizophrenia left our facility on an antipsychotic polypharmacy regimen. Compared with patients discharged on a single antipsychotic, the pooled data revealed a significantly greater use of anticholinergic agents in those patients prescribed an antipsychotic polypharmacy regimen. Further, of the atypical agents, only risperidone showed a statistically significant reduction in dosage when coprescribed with a second antipsychotic.
Although antipsychotic polypharmacy persists today, as it has over the past 30 years, evidence-based data to support this controversial treatment strategy is lacking. As a result clinicians are relying on their clinical experience, and perhaps intuition, to design antipsychotic polypharmacy treatment protocols. Efforts should be made to replace subjective clinical impression with a more rational approach to antipsychotic polypharmacy--one that is based on pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic understanding of drug action.
Despite much effort to positively affect long-term outcome in psychosis and schizophrenia many patients are still facing a poor outcome with persistent psychotic symptoms and decline in social functioning. The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between financial strain and social network and five-year outcome of first episode psychosis (FEP). FEP patients were divided into recovered (n = 52) and non-recovered (n = 19). Each person was matched according to age and gender with four persons (n = 284) from a longitudinal population-based study. All persons had answered an extensive questionnaire including social network, quantitative and qualitative, financial strain and mental health. Linear regression analysis showed that both financial strain and social network were associated, and had a unique contribution, to outcome. The results indicate that FEP patients might benefit from interventions that reduce financial strain thus facilitating daily life and cultural and social activities.
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a severe, debilitating movement disorder observed in 25-30% of the patients treated with typical antipsychotics. Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CNR1) activators tend to inhibit movement, an effect prevented by rimonabant and other selective CNR1 antagonists. Furthermore, CNR1 receptor is downregulated in Huntington's disease and upregulated in Parkinson's disease. Twenty tagSNPs spanning the CNR1 gene were analyzed in schizophrenia patients of European ancestry (n=191; 74 with TD). Significant genotypic (P=0.012) and allelic (P=0.012) association was observed with rs806374 (T>C). Carriers of the CC genotype were more likely to be TD positive (CC vs TT+TC, odds ratio=3.4 (1.5-7.8), P=0.003) and had more severe TD (CC vs TT+TC; 9.52±9.2 vs 5.62±6.9, P=0.046). These results indicate a possible role of CNR1 in the development of TD in our patient population. However, these observations are marginal after correcting for multiple testing and need to be replicated in a larger patient population.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Turku Psychiatric Clinic, Turku University Central Hospital, Turku Psychiatric Clinic, Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, FI-20520 Turku, Finland. firstname.lastname@example.org
The study evaluates the association of body mass index (BMI) with functioning in male and female patients with long-term schizophrenia.
722 long-term schizophrenia patients were interviewed three years after discharge from hospital. Their weight and height were recorded and data on their background, illness history, psychosocial functioning (Global Assessment Scale; GAS), health behaviour, daily doses of neuroleptics, and psychiatric symptoms were collected.
BMI correlated significantly with GAS scores in male (r=0.202, p=0.000) but not in female patients. In male patients, BMI associated significantly (p=0.005) with GAS scores even when the effects of psychiatric symptoms and other confounding variables were taken into account.
In male but not in female long-term patients with schizophrenia, low BMI associates with poor functioning. It is suggested that among male schizophrenia patients, low BMI may be an indicator of poor functioning.
Patients with schizophrenia requiring long-term institutionalization represent those with the worst outcome, leading to personal costs for patients and relatives and constituting a large economical burden for society.
To identify characteristics and predictors of outcome of institutionalized patients with schizophrenia.
One-year follow-up cohort study, utilizing the Danish national registers, of all institutionalized and non-institutionalized patients with schizophrenia in Denmark with an ICD-10 lifetime diagnosis of schizophrenia (F20.0-F20.9) since 1969 and alive at the index date of January 1st 2006 (total number 22,395).
Compared with non-institutionalized patients, institutionalized patients (n=2188; 9.8%) had earlier onset of schizophrenia and lower scholastic achievements, were more often diagnosed with a hebephrenic subtype (odds ratio (OR), 2.34; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.95-2.80; p
OBJECTIVE: To compare prescribed daily doses (PDDs) of psychotropic drugs in several European centres. METHOD: A one-day census of psychotropic drug prescriptions to 613 patients in 39 acute psychiatric wards in ten countries. RESULTS: Patients in Spain were on most drugs; patients in Germany were on the fewest. Chlorpromazine equivalents in Denmark, England, Germany and Spain were at high levels as were diazepam equivalents in Belgium, Finland, The Netherlands and Norway. Newer anti-psychotics were used in the majority of centres, although older anti-psychotics were used commonly in three centres. CONCLUSION: The high doses of psychotropic drugs patients receive in some centres may be having little additional therapeutic effect and could increase their risk of side effects. The use of older anti-psychotics in some centres may be causing side effects that could be reduced by using newer anti-psychotics.
In Finland, regional rates of schizophrenia exceed those in most countries, impacting the healthcare burden. This study determined the cost-effectiveness of long-acting antipsychotic (LAI) drugs paliperidone palmitate (PP-LAI), olanzapine pamoate (OLZ-LAI), and risperidone (RIS-LAI) for chronic schizophrenia.
This study adapted a decision tree analysis from Norway for the Finnish National Health Service. Country-specific data were sought from the literature and public documents, guided by clinical experts. Costs of health services and products were retrieved from literature sources and current price lists. This simulation study estimated average 1-year costs for treating patients with each LAI, average remission days, rates of hospitalization and emergency room visits and quality-adjusted life-years (QALY).
PP-LAI was dominant. Its estimated annual average cost was €10,380/patient and was associated with 0.817 QALY; OLZ-LAI cost €12,145 with 0.810 QALY; RIS-LAI cost €12,074 with 0.809 QALY. PP-LAI had the lowest rates of hospitalization, emergency room visits, and relapse days. This analysis was robust against most variations in input values except adherence rates. PP-LAI was dominant over OLZ-LAI and RIS-LAI in 77.8% and 85.9% of simulations, respectively. Limitations include the 1-year time horizon (as opposed to lifetime costs), omission of the costs of adverse events, and the assumption of universal accessibility.
In Finland, PP-LAI dominated the other LAIs as it was associated with a lower cost and better clinical outcomes.
Oral health status is poor and a disregarded health issue among patients with schizophrenia that is associated with the risk for additional social stigmatization and potentially fatal infections.
A historical, prospective database study of dental visits, utilizing the Danish National Patient Registry, of 21,417 patients with ICD-10-diagnosed schizophrenia in the year 2006 and of 18,892 patients for the 3-year period of 2004-2006 was conducted. Multiple logistic regression analyses were used to identify risk factors for lack of dental care.
Only 43% of patients with schizophrenia (9,263/21,417)--compared to an annual dental visit rate of 68% in the general adult Danish population (2,567,634/3,790,446)-visited the dentist within 12 months in 2006 (OR = 2.8; 95% CI, 2.7-2.9; P 50 years were associated with a lower risk for inappropriate dental care.
Patients with schizophrenia visit dentists much less frequently than the general population in the same country. Health professionals should pay more attention to the dental health care of patients with schizophrenia, actively encourage patients to regularly visit the dentist, and establish a formal collaboration with dentists to improve the dental health aspects of this disadvantaged patient group.
To determine the prevalence rates of hepatitis C in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder being treated with clozapine.
Clozapine-treated outpatients and inpatients were recruited from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Schizophrenia Program in Toronto, Canada. All subjects had liver function tests, and positive HCV status was defined as a positive qualitative HCV RNA assay. Subjects completed a self-report questionnaire assessing HCV risk factors, past history of liver disease, previous diagnosis of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), past hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and current alcohol use.
110 subjects participated in the study and the HCV prevalence rate (antibody and viremia-positive) was 2.7%, compared to a 0.8% prevalence rate in Canada. All study subjects had established housing, none reported a history of HIV, and only one patient had a history of HBV infection. A total of 9% drank two or more drinks on a typical day drinking and 7% endorsed having six or more drinks on one occasion at least monthly. Two of 3HCV-viremia positive subjects had HCV risk factors, specifically intravenous drug use and intranasal cocaine use. There was no difference between HCV infected and HCV negative subjects on liver function tests.
Our study demonstrates elevated rates of HCV in clozapine-treated patients compared to the general population in Canada and are congruent with reports from United States centres. Our study highlights the importance of homelessness and patterns of high-risk behaviour when interpreting HCV prevalence rates in this sub-population of patients and should be explored in future studies.