“Generally, risks for schizophrenia were higher within the first years after a somatic contact but remained clearly elevated several years after”, the researchers write inSchizophrenia Bulletin.
The team studied 954,351 people born in Denmark between 1977 and 1993, of whom 4371 developed schizophrenia by 2009. In all, 95.6% had hospital contact for a somatic disease before being diagnosed with schizophrenia.
The incidence rate ratio (IRR) was 2.04 for schizophrenia among people with prior hospital contact versus those without, after accounting for calendar year, age and its interaction with gender, and individual somatic disease categories according to the World Health Organization International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
Hospital contact for almost all individual ICD categories was significantly associated with the later development of schizophrenia, with adjusted IRRs ranging from 1.14 for congenital malformations and chromosomal abnormalities to 2.26 for epilepsy when compared with no hospital contact for the specific condition.
“The uniformity of the associations observed in this study could potentially reflect many possible mechanisms”, say lead study author Holger Sørensen (Copenhagen University Hospital, Denmark) and colleagues.
“These might include genetic or physiological overlap, interacting immunological, behavioral, experiential, or social factors.”
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