Spatial variation

What is incidence?

Incidence refers to how many new cases of schizophrenia there are per population in a specified time period. It is different from prevalence, which refers to how many existing cases there are at a particular point in time, or over a lifetime. Incidence is usually reported as the number of new cases per 100,000 people per year, but this can vary. Differences in the incidence of a disorder can provide clues to its possible causes. For example, a population register with information gained from consensus data helps to identify all adults in a defined area who were born within a certain time period (a cohort). Cross linking this information with a mental health register for the cohort can be used to identify people who received treatment for schizophrenia over particular times. This information provides the incidence of schizophrenia for various age groups within that cohort.

What is the evidence for spatial variation in incidence rates?

Moderate quality evidence finds the incidence of schizophrenia or schizophreniform disorder is higher in urban regions than in rural areas or mixed urban/rural areas. Incidence rates were higher for males than females who were born at high latitudes. Moderate to low quality evidence finds no association between the level of a country’s per capita gross national product or mean income and incidence rates of schizophrenia.

August 2021

Image: ©pixtumz88 – stock.adobe.com

Last updated at: 1:38 am, 5th October 2021
To view documentation related to this topic download the files below
Fact Sheet Technical Commentary

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.