Prevalence and Course of Schizophrenia in a Chinese Rural Area

Institute of Mental Health, West China Hospital, West China Medical School of Sichuan University, Chengdu.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 3.41). 09/2003; 37(4):452-7. DOI: 10.1046/j.1440-1614.2003.01203.x
Source: PubMed


To assess the characteristics and factors affecting course of schizophrenia in a Chinese rural area.
An epidemiological investigation was conducted to identify all the patients with schizophrenia among 149 231 people in Xinjin County, Chengdu.
The total prevalence of schizophrenia was 4.13 per 1000 population. Males had an earlier mean age of onset (29.6 years) than females (32.3 years). Duration of illness before treatment and the total duration of illness were found to be significantly associated with level of remission. The status of treatment, family economy, housing, and families' care of patients had a significant effect on the clinical course of the illness.
Duration of illness before treatment may be an important predictor of course in schizophrenia. Early treatment for the patients may produce higher level of improvement in prognosis. Education intervention and community-based service are urgent priorities for these patients.

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    • "In the People’s Republic of China, a recent large-scale study estimated the 1-month prevalence rate at 0.78%, with similar rates found in rural (0.80%) and urban (0.72%) areas.10 Other studies in the People’s Republic of China have reported prevalence estimates ranging approximately from 0.2% to 2.2%.9,11 The prevalence of schizophrenia in the People’s Republic of China appears to be similar to the global prevalence. "
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    • "The prevalence of schizophrenia in this study (0.49%) is lower than the findings of national (0.57% in 1982, Twelve-Region Psychiatric Epidemiological Study Work Group, 1986; 0.66% in 1993, Chen et al., 1998) and some regional psychiatric epidemiology studies in China (e.g. 0.65% in 1999 in Jiangxi province, Wan et al., 2002), but not all (0.30% in 1984 and 0.34% in 1994 in Shandong province, Weng et al., 1998; 0.41% in 1994 in Sichuan province, Ran et al., 2003). "
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