Medical comorbidity in women and men with schizophrenia: A population-based controlled study

Department of Psychiatry, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 12/2006; 21(11):1133-7. DOI: 10.1111/j.1525-1497.2006.00563.x
Source: PubMed


Persons with persistent mental illness are at risk for failure to receive medical services. In order to deliver appropriate preventive and primary care for this population, it is important to determine which chronic medical conditions are most common.
We examined chronic medical comorbidity in persons with schizophrenia using validated methodologies.
Retrospective analysis of longitudinal administrative claims data from Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Iowa.
Subjects with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (N=1,074), and controls (N=726,262) who filed at least 1 claim for medical services, 1996 to 2001.
Case subjects had schizophrenia as the most clinically predominant psychotic disorder, based on psychiatric hospitalization, psychiatrist diagnoses, and outpatient care. Controls had no claims for any psychiatric comorbidity. Using a modified version of the Elixhauser Comorbidity Index, inpatient and outpatient claims were used to determine the prevalence of 46 common medical conditions. Odds ratios (ORs) were adjusted for age, gender, residence, and nonmental health care utilization using logistic regression.
Subjects with schizophrenia were significantly more likely to have 1 or more chronic conditions compared with controls. Adjusted OR (95% confidence interval [CI]) were 2.62 (2.09 to 3.28) for hypothyroidism, 1.88 (1.51 to 2.32) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 2.11 (1.36 to 3.28) for diabetes with complications, 7.54 (3.55 to 15.99) for hepatitis C, 4.21 (3.25 to 5.44) for fluid/electrolyte disorders, and 2.77 (2.23 to 3.44) for nicotine abuse/dependence.
Schizophrenia is associated with substantial chronic medical burden. Familiarity with conditions affecting persons with schizophrenia may assist programs aimed at providing medical care for the mentally ill.

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Available from: Robert F Woolson, Feb 17, 2014
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    • "Our results indicate that schizophrenia is associated with a substantial burden of physical comorbidities; that these comorbidities appear early in life; and that they have a severe impact on mortality. Also, in agreement with prior reports [3,4,19,20], our data indicate that hospitalized schizophrenic individuals often have numerous physical diseases, and that several of these diseases are of known clinical severity and prognostic relevance, however, the study design do not allow us for making causal inferences. "
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    ABSTRACT: Physical disease remains a challenge in patients with schizophrenia. Our objective was to determine the epidemiological characteristics and burden of physical disease in hospitalized patients with schizophrenia. We analyzed the 2004 Spanish National Hospital Discharge Registry, identified records coded for schizophrenia (295.xx) and characterized the physical diseases using the ICD-9 system and the Charlson Index. We also calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) versus the general population adjusted by age and calendar time. A total of 16, 776 cases (mean age: 43 years, 65% males) were considered for analysis. Overall, 61% of cases had at least one ICD-9 physical code and 32% had more than one ICD-9 code. The Charlson index indicated that 20% of cases had a physical disease of known clinical impact and prognostic significance. Physical disease appeared early in life (50% of cases were 15-31 years of age) and increased rapidly in incidence with age. Thus, for patients aged 53 years or more, 84% had at least one physical ICD-9 code. Apart from substance abuse and addiction, the most prevalent diseases were endocrine (16%), circulatory (15%), respiratory (15%), injury-poisoning (11%), and digestive (10%). There were gender-related differences in disease burden and type of disease. In-hospital mortality significantly correlated with age, the Charlson Index and several ICD-9 groups of physical disease. Physical disease was associated with an overall 3.6-fold increase in SMRs compared with the general population. This study provides the first nationally representative estimate of the prevalence and characteristics of physical disease in hospitalized patients with schizophrenia in Spain. Our results indicate that schizophrenia is associated with a substantial burden of physical comorbidities; that these comorbidities appear early in life; and that they have a substantial impact on mortality. This information raises concerns about the consequences and causes of physical disorders in patients with schizophrenia. Additionally, it will help to guide the design and implementation of preventive and therapeutic programs from the viewpoint of clinical care and in terms of health-care service planning.
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    • "This has been demonstrated most clearly for obesity and related conditions such as diabetes mellitus and the metabolic syndrome [3-6], and for cardiovascular diseases [7,8]. There are also indications that psychosis patients are more susceptible to lung diseases, thyroid diseases, and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C [9,10]. This somatic comorbidity can be explained by several, partly related, causes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Patients suffering from psychotic disorders have an increased risk of comorbid somatic diseases such as cardiovascular disorders and diabetes mellitus. Doctor-related factors, such as unfamiliarity with these patients, as well as patient-related factors, such as cognitive disturbance and negative symptoms, contribute to suboptimal health care for these patients.General practitioners (GPs) could play a key role in diagnosing and treating this somatic comorbidity as in the Netherlands, almost all residents are registered at a general practice. This study aims to find out whether there are any differences between the levels of health care provided by GPs to patients with psychotic disorders, compared to other types of patients. A cohort of patients with an ICPC code of psychosis and two matched control groups, one consisting of patients with other mental problems and the other one of patients without any mental problems, were followed over a period of 5 years. Patients with psychotic disorders (N = 734) contacted the GP practice more often than patients in the control groups. These patients, both adults (p = 0.051) and the elderly (p < 0.005), received more home visits from their GPs. In the adult group (16 to 65 years old inclusive), the number of consultations was significantly higher among both psychosis patients and the group of patients with other mental problems (p < 0.0005). The number of telephone consultations was significantly higher in both age categories, adult group (p < 0.0005), and > 65 years old (p = 0.007). With regard to chronic illnesses, elderly psychosis patients had fewer contacts related to cardiovascular diseases or chronic lung diseases. Patients with psychotic disorders contact the GP practice more frequently than other types of patients. Adult psychosis patients with diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases or chronic lung diseases receive the same amount of health care for these diseases as other primary care patients. The finding that older patients with psychotic disorders are diagnosed with cardiovascular diseases and obstructive lung diseases less frequently than other types of elderly patients requires further study.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · BMC Family Practice
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    • "Amongst those with mental illness there is a higher than expected mortality rate and a lower life-expectancy with a persistent mortality gap over several decades (Saha et al., 2007). Individuals with schizophrenia appear to have higher rates of hypothyroidism, dermatitis, eczema, obesity, epilepsy, viral hepatitis, diabetes (type II), essential hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and fluid/electrolyte disorders (Carney et al., 2006; Weber et al., 2009). The presence of this medical comorbidity adversely effects quality of life and recovery from the underlying psychiatric disorder (Kisely and Simon, 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously documented inequalities in the quality of medical care provided to those with mental ill health but the implications for mortality are unclear. We aimed to test whether disparities in medical treatment of cardiovascular conditions, specifically receipt of medical procedures and receipt of prescribed medication, are linked with elevated rates of mortality in people with schizophrenia and severe mental illness. We undertook a systematic review of studies that examined medical procedures and a pooled analysis of prescribed medication in those with and without comorbid mental illness, focusing on those which recruited individuals with schizophrenia and measured mortality as an outcome. From 17 studies of treatment adequacy in cardiovascular conditions, eight examined cardiac procedures and nine examined adequacy of prescribed cardiac medication. Six of eight studies examining the adequacy of cardiac procedures found lower than average provision of medical care and two studies found no difference. Meta-analytic pooling of nine medication studies showed lower than average rates of prescribing evident for the following individual classes of medication; angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (n = 6, aOR = 0.779, 95% CI = 0.638-0.950, p = 0.0137), beta-blockers (n = 9, aOR = 0.844, 95% CI = 0.690-1.03, p = 0.1036) and statins (n = 5, aOR = 0.604, 95% CI = 0.408-0.89, p = 0.0117). No inequality was evident for aspirin (n = 7, aOR = 0.986, 95% CI = 0.7955-1.02, p = 0.382). Interestingly higher than expected prescribing was found for older non-statin cholesterol-lowering agents (n = 4, aOR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.04-2.32, p = 0.0312). A search for outcomes in this sample revealed ten studies linking poor quality of care and possible effects on mortality in specialist settings. In half of the studies there was significantly higher mortality in those with mental ill health compared with controls but there was inadequate data to confirm a causative link. Nevertheless, indirect evidence supports the observation that deficits in quality of care are contributing to higher than expected mortality in those with severe mental illness (SMI) and schizophrenia. The quality of medical treatment provided to those with cardiac conditions and comorbid schizophrenia is often suboptimal and may be linked with avoidable excess mortality. Every effort should be made to deliver high-quality medical care to people with severe mental illness.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of Psychopharmacology
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