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01-10-2009 | Mental health | Article

Cardiovascular admissions increased in schizophrenia patients


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MedWire News: Schizophrenia patients are more likely than other patients to be readmitted to hospital due to a cardiovascular event, say Canadian researchers in findings that highlight the importance of cardiovascular screening.

Previous studies have shown that schizophrenia patients not only have a significantly higher rate of cardiovascular risk factors than the general population but also a higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease and greater cardiovascular mortality. However, the incidence of cardiovascular morbidity in schizophrenia patients is not known.

Russell Callaghan and colleagues from the University of Toronto in Ontario used inpatient hospital discharge records from 2002 to 2006 to identify 9815 schizophrenia patients and the same number of patients with an appendicitis-related diagnosis matched for age, gender, average neighbourhood income level, and amount of available follow-up time. The incidence of readmission to hospital with cardiovascular diagnoses for the two groups was then compared.

In all, there were 652 cardiovascular-related events across both groups. In adjusted analyses, individuals in the schizophrenia group were significantly more likely than appendicitis patients to be readmitted with a cardiovascular event, at a hazard ratio of 1.43.

In addition, diabetes, lipid disorders, increasing age, obesity, and tobacco abuse/dependence were all significantly linked to readmission with a cardiovascular event among schizophrenia patients, at a hazard ratios of 3.81, 4.08, 1.06, 2.24, and 2.08, respectively, the team reports in the journal Schizophrenia Research.

They write: “These findings support current treatment guidelines and expert consensus documents stressing the importance of integrated psychiatric and somatic care for persons with schizophrenia, especially screening, monitoring, and intervention programs addressing metabolic and cardiovascular-related conditions.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a part of Springer Science+Business Media. © Current Medicine Group Ltd; 2009

By Liam Davenport

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