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Current Psychiatry Research and Reviews


ISSN (Print): 2666-0822
ISSN (Online): 2666-0830

Research Article

Medical Comorbidity in Elderly Schizophrenic Patients: A Preliminary Study in Iran

Author(s): Saeed Shoja Shafti*, Alireza Memarie, Masomeh Rezaie and Behjat Rahimi

Volume 16, Issue 2, 2020

Page: [103 - 109] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/2666082216666200817104424

Price: $65


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 appropriate care.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, psychiatric disorders, medical comorbidity, elderly mental patients, senior persons, chronic patients.

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