Background: While comorbidity between mental disorders and physical illnesses is the
rule rather than an exception, appraising the impact of comorbidity is challenging due to lack of
consensus about how to define and measure the concept of comorbidity.
Objective: The aim of the present evaluation was to appraise the prevalence and features of medical
comorbidities among a group of native elderly schizophrenic patients.
Methods: Geriatric unit of Razi psychiatric hospital was selected as the field of investigation and
168 elderly schizophrenic patients (≥65 years old), including 101 males and 67 females, who have
been hospitalized there as chronic cases, were chosen as an accessible sample, and were surveyed
with respect to existing comorbid medical disorders. Psychiatric diagnosis was based on ‘Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’, 5th edition (DSM-5), and the medical diagnosis was
based on ‘International Classification of Diseases’, 10th edition.
Results: As shown by the results, 89% (n=151) of elderly schizophrenic patients had some kind of
registered physical co-morbidity, which was more significant than the frequency of medical comorbidities
among native senior citizens. Amongst the listed co-morbidities, falls, hypertension and
osteoarthritis were the most prevalent comorbidities with a frequency of around 48.8%, 44.6% and
39.2%, respectively. Hypertension, renal disease and malnutrition were significantly more prevalent
among male patients (p<0.0000, p<0.0045 and p< 0.0018, respectively) and hyponatremia, aspiration/
asphyxiation and seizure were meaningfully more prevalent among female patients (p<0.0075,
p<0.0000 and p<0.0009, respectively). As stated by the findings and in comparison with the native
seniors, while diabetes, renal diseases and malnutrition were significantly more frequent, coronary
artery disease, gastrointestinal disorder and osteoarthritis were significantly less frequent in the existing
sample of elderly schizophrenic patients.
Conclusion: In comparison with the native senior people, the rate of medical comorbidities, particularly
diabetes, renal diseases and malnutrition, was significantly higher in elderly schizophrenic
patients, a significant difference, was observed regarding physical comorbidities between male and
female patients, which demands further methodical and gender-based studies for defining more