I Šimunović Filipčić, E Ivezić, N Jakšić, N Mayer, M Grah, M Rojnić Kuzman, Z Bajić, V Svab, M Herceg and I Filipčić,
Early intervention in psychiatry, Aug 2019 14
The association between various physical illnesses and schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) is well-established. However, the role of gender remains unclear. The present study explored the gender-based differences in the prevalence and early onset of chronic physical multimorbidities (CPM) in patients with SSD and the general population (GEP).We recruited 329 SSD patients and 837 GEP controls in this nested cross-sectional study. The primary outcome was the prevalence of the chronic physical multimorbidities, especially in the youngest age group (<35 years).Women with SSD had more than double the odds for having CPM than men (OR = 2.47; 95% CI 1.35-4.50), while the gender-related burden of chronic diseases in controls was nearly the same (OR = 0.89; 95% CI 0.65-1.22). Furthermore, the prevalence of chronic disease in younger women patients was significantly higher than in controls (P = .002), while younger men did not seem to experience this increased comorbidity burden.This study suggests that women with SSD are at increased physical comorbidity risk compared to men, particularly early in the course of psychiatric illness. Tailored and individualized treatment plans must consider this, aiming to deliver holistic care and effective treatment outcomes.