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Analysis Finds High Comorbidity Burden in Patients With Schizophrenia

September 11, 2020

A large-scale analysis of insurance databases found a high prevalence of medical and psychiatric comorbidities among patients with schizophrenia, compared with matched controls, according to a poster presented at Psych Congress 2020. 

“These findings highlight the importance of integrated medical and psychiatric care,” researchers wrote.

The study used data from the IBM MarketScan Commercial and Medicare Supplemental Databases and the Multi-State Medicaid Database to identify beneficiaries with 1 or more diagnostic claims for schizophrenia between January 1, 2009, and June 30, 2016. Beneficiaries with schizophrenia were matched by demographic characteristics with controls.

The prevalence of schizophrenia was 0.11% among commercially insured patients and 0.99%; among Medicaid-insured patients, according to the poster abstract. Regardless of the type of insurance coverage, the prevalence of comorbidities was higher in people with schizophrenia than in matched controls.

Mood disorders, anxiety disorders, connective tissue disease, and diseases of the heart were common comorbidities in people with schizophrenia, researchers reported. Comorbidities with the highest case-control prevalence rate ratios were personality disorders, suicide and intentional self-inflicted injury, and impulse control disorders. 

Across databases, the most commonly prescribed medications for patients with schizophrenia were antipsychotics, antidepressants, and analgesics/antipyretics–opiate agonists. The most commonly prescribed antipsychotics, according to the poster, were risperidone, quetiapine, aripiprazole, and olanzapine.

Alkermes Inc. sponsored the study.

—Jolynn Tumolo


Roy B, Li J, Lally C, Shah A, Bloomgren G, Wenten M. Disease prevalence, comorbid conditions, and medication utilization among patients with schizophrenia in the United States. Poster presented at Psych Congress 2020; September 10-13, 2020; Virtual.

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