Rapid Review Quiz: Mental Health Comorbidities

Stephen Soreff, MD


April 22, 2022

A recent study presented at the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry Conference 2022 (AAGP 2022) analyzed healthcare records and data linkages from 82,858 US veterans aged 50 years and older with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and at least one inpatient or two outpatient encounters related to that diagnosis within the previous 2 years. Researchers assessed 20 common psychiatric and medical conditions other than schizophrenia. They grouped the participants into three distinct patient classes: those with minimal morbidity, depression and medical comorbidity, and SUDs and related conditions.

The minimal morbidity group had less than 10% prevalence rates for all major conditions, except for tobacco dependence (11.8%). The depression and medical comorbidity group had the highest rate of overall mortality during the observation period (47.5%) compared with the SUD group (27.2%). However, the depression and medical comorbidity and SUD patient groups also diverged in terms of other outcomes. The depression and medical comorbidity group experienced over 20% rates of arthritis, cancer, congestive heart failure, dementia, depression, heart attack, renal disease, sleep disorders, stroke, and tobacco dependence, with a 60% rate of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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