Gender differences in the prevalence, comorbidities and antipsychotic prescription of early-onset schizophrenia: a nationwide population-based study in Taiwan

Chih Wei Hsu, Sheng Yu Lee, Liang Jen Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Early-onset schizophrenia (EOS) is defined as patients diagnosed with schizophrenia before the age of 18. Whether the EOS population has gender differences is currently a matter of considerable debate. This study used a representative nationwide sample to examine potential gender differences in the prevalence, comorbidities, and prescription of antipsychotics among the EOS population. We identified a total of 401 patients with EOS (200 males and 201 females) from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Database between 2000 and 2012. The annual prevalence rate of overall patients with EOS increased significantly from 17.1 to 41.8 per 100,000 persons among the youth population (≤ 18 years). Sulpiride, Risperidone, and Aripiprazole were the most common antipsychotics of first choice for treating EOS. Compared to female patients, male patients were more likely to experience the following comorbidities: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (15.5% vs. 5.5%), autism spectrum disorder (10.0% vs. 3.0%), intellectual disability (19.0% vs. 10.4%), developmental disorder (8.0% vs. 3.0%), and history of physical injury (65.5% vs. 48.8%), prior to being diagnosed with schizophrenia. We observed no significant gender differences with regard to incidence, prevalence, age of onset, and categories and doses of patients’ first antipsychotic prescription. Our findings did not support the empirical opinion that males with EOS experience the onset earlier or are more prevalent than EOS female patients. However, male patients were more likely to have neurodevelopmental comorbidities and a history of physical injury. These results can function as an important reference for planning services that target real-world patient treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)759-767
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume28
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 01 06 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.

Keywords

  • Antipsychotic
  • Comorbidity
  • Early-onset schizophrenia
  • Gender difference
  • Incidence
  • Prevalence

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