[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
The quality of mental health care provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was compared with care provided to a comparable population treated in the private sector.
Two cohorts of individuals with mental disorders (schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, major depression, and substance use disorders) were created with VA administrative data (N=836,519) and MarketScan data (N=545,484). The authors computed VA and MarketScan national means for seven process-based quality measures related to medication evaluation and management and estimated national-level performance by age and gender.
In every case, VA performance was superior to that of the private sector by more than 30%. Compared with individuals in private plans, veterans with schizophrenia or major depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate initial medication treatment, and veterans with depression were more than twice as likely to receive appropriate long-term treatment.
Findings demonstrate the significant advantages that accrue from an organized, nationwide system of care. The much higher performance of the VA has important clinical and policy implications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
The authors compared the effectiveness of initiating treatment with either clozapine or a standard antipsychotic among adults with evidence of treatment-resistant schizophrenia in routine clinical practice.
U.S. national Medicaid data from 2001 to 2009 were used to examine treatment outcomes in a cohort of patients with schizophrenia and evidence of treatment resistance that initiated clozapine (N=3,123) and in a propensity score-matched cohort that initiated a standard antipsychotic (N=3,123). Interventions were new initiation of clozapine or a standard antipsychotic medication, defined as no exposure to the new medication in the prior 365 days. The primary outcome was hospital admission for a mental disorder. Secondary outcomes included discontinuation of the index antipsychotic, use of an additional antipsychotic, incidence of serious medical conditions, and mortality.
Initiation of clozapine was associated with a significantly decreased rate of psychiatric hospital admission (hazard ratio=0.78, 95% CI=0.69-0.88), index antipsychotic discontinuation (hazard ratio=0.60, 95% CI=0.55-0.65), and use of an additional antipsychotic (hazard ratio=0.76, 95% CI=0.70-0.82). Clozapine was associated with significantly increased incidence of diabetes mellitus (2.8% for clozapine vs. 1.4% for standard antipsychotic; hazard ratio=1.63, 95% CI=0.98-2.70), hyperlipidemia (12.9% for clozapine vs. 8.5% for standard antipsychotic; hazard ratio=1.40, 95%CI=1.09-1.78), and intestinal obstruction (0.9% for clozapine vs. 0.3% for standard antipsychotic; hazard ratio=2.50, 95% CI=0.97-6.44).
In adults with schizophrenia and evidence of treatment resistance, initiating clozapine compared with initiating a standard antipsychotic was associated with greater effectiveness on several important outcomes. Increasing the judicious use of clozapine is warranted together with vigilance to prevent and detect serious medical adverse effects.
No preview · Article · Nov 2015 · American Journal of Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Importance
Although adults with schizophrenia have a significantly increased risk of premature mortality, sample size limitations of previous research have hindered the identification of the underlying causes.Objective
To describe overall and cause-specific mortality rates and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for adults with schizophrenia compared with the US general population.Design, Setting, and Participants
We identified a national retrospective longitudinal cohort of patients with schizophrenia 20 to 64 years old in the Medicaid program (January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2007). The cohort included 1 138 853 individuals, 4 807 121 years of follow-up, and 74 003 deaths, of which 65 553 had a known cause.Main Outcomes and Measures
Mortality ratios for the schizophrenia cohort standardized to the general population with respect to age, sex, race/ethnicity, and geographic region were estimated for all-cause and cause-specific mortality. Mortality rates per 100 000 person-years and the mean years of potential life lost per death were also determined. Death record information was obtained from the National Death Index.Results
Adults with schizophrenia were more than 3.5 times (all-cause SMR, 3.7; 95% CI, 3.7-3.7) as likely to die in the follow-up period as were adults in the general population. Cardiovascular disease had the highest mortality rate (403.2 per 100 000 person-years) and an SMR of 3.6 (95% CI, 3.5-3.6). Among 6 selected cancers, lung cancer had the highest mortality rate (74.8 per 100 000 person-years) and an SMR of 2.4 (95% CI, 2.4-2.5). Particularly elevated SMRs were observed for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (9.9; 95% CI, 9.6-10.2) and influenza and pneumonia (7.0; 95% CI, 6.7-7.4). Accidental deaths (119.7 per 100 000 person-years) accounted for more than twice as many deaths as suicide (52.0 per 100 000 person-years). Nonsuicidal substance-induced death, mostly from alcohol or other drugs, was also a leading cause of death (95.2 per 100 000 person-years).Conclusions and Relevance
In a US national cohort of adults with schizophrenia, excess deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases implicate modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, including especially tobacco use. Excess deaths directly attributable to alcohol or other drugs highlight threats posed by substance abuse. More aggressive identification and management of cardiovascular risk factors, as well as reducing tobacco use and substance abuse, should be leading priorities in the medical care of adults with schizophrenia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Lithium inhibits glycogen synthase kinase 3, an enzyme implicated in the pathogenesis of dementia. Aims To examine the association of lithium and dementia risk in a large claims-based US cohort of publicly insured older adults with bipolar disorder. Method The cohort included individuals ≥50 years diagnosed with bipolar disorder who did not receive dementia-related services during the prior year. Each follow-up day was classified by past-year cumulative duration of lithium use (0, 1-60, 61-300 and 301-365 days). Dementia diagnosis was the study outcome. Anticonvulsants commonly used as mood stabilisers served as a negative control. Results Compared with non-use, 301-365 days of lithium exposure was associated with significantly reduced dementia risk (hazard ratio (HR) = 0.77, 95% CI 0.60-0.99). No corresponding association was observed for shorter lithium exposures (HR = 1.04, 95% CI 0.83-1.31 for 61-300 days; HR = 1.07, 95% CI 0.67-1.71 for 1-60 days) or for any exposure to anticonvulsants. Conclusions Continuous lithium treatment may reduce dementia risk in older adults with bipolar disorder.
Royal College of Psychiatrists.
No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · The British journal of psychiatry: the journal of mental science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To undertake a multi-country study to investigate the risk of acute hyperglycaemia with antipsychotic use.
Using a distributed network model with a common minimal data set, we performed a prescription sequence symmetry analysis (PSSA) to investigate the risk of acute hyperglycaemia associated with antipsychotic initiation. Incident insulin prescriptions were used as a proxy indicator of acute hyperglycaemia. Participating countries and population datasets included Australia (300,000 persons), Japan I (300,000 persons), Japan II (200,000 persons), Korea (53 million persons) Taiwan (1 million persons), Sweden (9 million persons), USA-Public (87 million persons) and USA-Private (47 million persons).
Olanzapine showed a trend towards increased risk in most databases, with a significant association observed in the USA-Public database (Adjusted sequence ratio (ASR) = 1.14; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 1.10-1.17) and Sweden (ASR = 1.53; 95% CI 1.13-2.06). Null or negative associations were observed for haloperidol, quetiapine and risperidone.
Acute hyperglycaemia appears to be associated with olanzapine use, however, this effect was only observed in two large databases. Despite different patterns of utilization of both antipsychotics and insulin, PSSA analysis results for individual antipsychotic medicines were qualitatively similar across most countries. PSSA, used in conjunction with existing methods, may provide a simple and timely method further supporting multi-national drug safety monitoring.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined associations between stimulant use and risk of cardiovascular events and symptoms in youth with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and compared the risks associated with methylphenidate and amphetamines.
Claims were reviewed of privately insured young people 6 to 21 years old without known cardiovascular risk factors (n = 171,126). A day-level cohort analysis evaluated the risk of cardiovascular events after a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in relation to stimulant exposures. Based on filled stimulant prescriptions, follow-up days were classified as current, past, and no stimulant use. Endpoints included an emergency department or inpatient diagnosis of angina pectoris, cardiac dysrhythmia, or transient cerebral ischemia (cardiac events) or tachycardia, palpitations, or syncope (cardiac symptoms).
There were 0.92 new cardiac events and 3.08 new cardiac symptoms per 1,000,000 days of current stimulant use. Compared with no stimulant use (reference group), the adjusted odds ratios of cardiac events were 0.69 (95% confidence interval 0.42-1.12) during current stimulant use and 1.18 (95% CI 0.83-1.66) during past stimulant use. The corresponding adjusted odds ratios for cardiac symptoms were 1.18 (95% CI 0.89-1.59) for current and 0.93 (95% CI 0.71-1.21) for past stimulant use. No significant differences were observed in risks of cardiovascular events (2.14, 95% CI 0.82-5.63) or symptoms (1.08, 95% CI 0.66-1.79) for current methylphenidate use compared with amphetamine use (reference group).
Clinical diagnoses of cardiovascular events and symptoms were rare and not associated with stimulant use. The results help to allay concerns over the cardiovascular safety of stimulant treatment for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in young people without known pre-existing risk factors.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to examine relationships between depression treatments (antidepressant and/or psychotherapy utilization) and adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART), we conducted a retrospective analysis of medical and pharmacy insurance claims for privately insured persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) diagnosed with depression (n = 1,150). Participants were enrolled in 80 insurance plans from all 50 states. Adherence was suboptimal. Depression treatment initiators were significantly more likely to be adherent to ART than the untreated. We did not observe an association between psychotherapy utilization and ART adherence, yet given the limitations of the data (e.g., there is no information on types of psychological treatment and its targets), the lack of association should not be interpreted as lack of efficacy.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · AIDS and Behavior
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the prevalence and demographic and clinical correlates of children diagnosed with Tourette disorder, chronic motor or vocal tic disorder, and other tic disorders in public and private insurance plans over the course of a 1-year period.
Claims were reviewed of Medicaid (n = 10,247,827) and privately (n = 16,128,828) insured youth (4-18 years old) focusing on tic disorder diagnoses during a 1-year period. Rates are presented for children with each tic disorder diagnosis overall and stratified by demographic characteristics and co-identified mental disorders. Mental health service use, including medications prescribed, and co-existing psychiatric disorders were also examined.
In Medicaid-insured children, rates of diagnosis per 1,000 were 0.53 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51-0.55) for Tourette disorder, 0.08 (95% CI 0.07-0.08) for chronic motor or vocal tic disorder, and 0.43 (95% CI 0.41-0.44) for other tic disorders. In privately insured children, comparable rates were 0.50 (95% CI 0.49-0.52), 0.10 (95% CI 0.10-0.11), and 0.59 (95% CI 0.58-0.61). In 1 year, children diagnosed with tic disorders also frequently received other psychiatric disorder diagnoses. Compared with privately insured youth, children under Medicaid diagnosed with Tourette disorder had higher rates of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (50.2% versus 25.9%), other disruptive behavior (20.6% versus 5.6%), and depression (14.6% versus 9.8%) diagnoses and higher rates of antipsychotic medication use (53.6% versus 33.2%).
Despite similarities in annual rates of tic disorder diagnoses in publicly and privately insured children, important differences exist in patient characteristics and service use of publicly and privately insured youth who are diagnosed with tic disorders.
No preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Scant information exists to guide pharmacological treatment of early-onset schizophrenia. We examine variation across commonly prescribed second-generation antipsychotic medications in medication discontinuation and psychiatric hospital admission among children and adolescents clinically diagnosed with schizophrenia. A 45-state Medicaid claims file (2001-2005) was analyzed focusing on outpatients, aged 6-17 years, diagnosed with schizophrenia or a related disorder prior to starting a new episode of antipsychotic monotherapy with risperidone (n = 805), olanzapine (n = 382), quetiapine (n = 260), aripiprazole (n = 173), or ziprasidone (n = 125). Cox proportional hazard regressions estimated adjusted hazard ratios of 180-day antipsychotic medication discontinuation and 180-day psychiatric hospitalization for patients treated with each medication. During the first 180 days following antipsychotic initiation, most youth treated with quetiapine (70.7%), ziprasidone (73.3%), olanzapine (73.7%), risperidone (74.7%), and aripirazole (76.5%) discontinued their medication (χ(2) = 1.69, df = 4, P = .79). Compared with risperidone, the adjusted hazards of antipsychotic discontinuation did not significantly differ for any of the 4-comparator medications. The percentages of youth receiving inpatient psychiatric treatment while receiving their initial antipsychotic medication ranged from 7.19% (aripiprazole) to 9.89% (quetiapine) (χ(2) = 0.79, df = 4, P = .94). As compared with risperidone, the adjusted hazard ratio of psychiatric hospital admission was 0.96 (95% CI: 0.57-1.61) for olanzapine, 1.03 (95% CI: 0.59-1.81) for quetiapine, 0.85 (95% CI: 0.43-1.70) for aripiprazole, and 1.22 (95% CI: 0.60-2.51) for ziprasidone. The results suggest that rapid antipsychotic medication discontinuation and psychiatric hospital admission are common in the community treatment of early-onset schizophrenia. No significant differences were detected in risk of either adverse outcome across 5 commonly prescribed second-generation antipsychotic medications.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Schizophrenia Bulletin
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stimulants and atomoxetine should generally not be used or used only with caution in adults with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions. The extent to which pre-existing cardiovascular conditions influence initiation of these ADHD medications in adults is not known.
We performed a retrospective cohort study of privately insured adults with new ADHD treatment episodes. Pre-existing cardiovascular conditions were assessed by the presence of ICD-9-CM codes for congenital abnormalities, atherosclerosis, cardiac disease, and cerebrovascular disease in the 12 months before the index ADHD diagnosis. The primary outcome was new initiation of a stimulant or atomoxetine in the 3 months after the index date. Multivariate logistic regression was used to predict the likelihood of treatment initiation with stimulants or atomoxetine based on pre-existing cardiovascular conditions, patient demographic characteristics, clinical mental disorder comorbidities, other psychotropic drug use, and provider type.
Of 8752 patients with a new ADHD treatment episode, 917 (10.5%) had evidence of >or=1 pre-existing cardiovascular condition. Stimulants were started by 40.8% of patients with and 53.0% of patients without pre-existing cardiovascular conditions (Adjusted Odds Ratio, AOR 0.71; 95%CI 0.61-0.82). Pre-existing cardiovascular conditions reduced the likelihood of initiating stimulant treatment in younger but not in older patients (p-value for age x cardiovascular condition interaction = 0.0002). Initiation of atomoxetine treatment was not affected by pre-existing cardiovascular conditions (AOR 1.19, 95%CI 0.94-1.50).
Pre-existing cardiovascular conditions reduce the likelihood of stimulant therapy but not atomoxetine treatment in adult ADHD patients. However, many adult ADHD patients with pre-existing cardiovascular conditions initiate stimulant therapy.
No preview · Article · May 2010 · Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study describes recent trends and patterns in antipsychotic treatment of privately insured children aged 2 through 5 years.
A trend analysis is presented of antipsychotic medication use (1999-2001 versus 2007) stratified by patient characteristics. Data are analyzed from a large administrative database of privately insured individuals. Participants were privately insured children, aged 2 through 5 years, with 12 months of continuous service enrollment in 1999-2001 (N = 400,196) or 2007 (N = 755,793). The main outcomes are annualized rates of antipsychotic use and adjusted rate ratios (ARR) of year effect on rate of antipsychotic use adjusted for age, sex, and treated mental disorder.
The annualized rate of any antipsychotic use per 1,000 children increased from 0.78 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.69-0.88) (1999-2001) to 1.59 (95% CI 1.50-1.68) (2007) (ARR 1.76, 95% CI 1.56-2.00). Significant increases in antipsychotic drug use were evident for boys (ARR 1.66, 95% CI 1.44-1.90) and girls (ARR 2.26, 95% CI 1.70-3.01) and for children diagnosed with several different psychiatric disorders. Among antipsychotic-treated children in the 2007 sample, pervasive developmental disorder or mental retardation (28.2%), attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) (23.7%), and disruptive behavior disorder (12.9%) were the most common clinical diagnoses. Fewer than one-half of antipsychotic-treated young children received a mental health assessment (40.8%), a psychotherapy visit (41.4%), or a visit with a psychiatrist (42.6%) during the year of antipsychotic use.
Despite increasing rates of antipsychotic use by very young children, provision of formal mental health services remains sparse. These service patterns highlight a critical need to improve the availability of specialized and well integrated mental health care for very young children with serious mental health problems.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atypical antipsychotic medications are increasingly used for a wide range of clinical indications in diverse populations, including privately and publicly insured youth and elderly nursing home residents. These trends heighten policy challenges for payers, patients, and clinicians related to appropriate prescribing and management, patient safety, and clinical effectiveness. For clinicians and patients, balancing risks and benefits is challenging, given the paucity of effective alternative treatments. For health care systems, regulators, and policymakers, challenges include developing the evidence base on comparative risks and benefits; defining measures of treatment quality; and implementing policies that encourage evidence-based practices while avoiding unduly burdensome restrictions.