Spatial variation

What is prevalence?

Prevalence measures the proportion of individuals who have a disorder at a particular point in time (point prevalence) or during a specified period (annual prevalence, lifetime prevalence) and this may vary across regions. It is distinct from incidence, which refers to how many new cases there are per population in a specified time period. Lifetime prevalence is the number of individuals in a population that at some point in their life have experienced schizophrenia compared to the total number of individuals.

What is the evidence for spatial variation in prevalence rates?

High quality evidence indicates there is worldwide spatial variation in the prevalence of schizophrenia and schizophrenia-related disorders. There is increased prevalence of schizophrenia with higher latitudes and colder climates. At the same latitude, prevalence is higher for people with dark skin colour (African American, sub-Saharan Africa and southern Indian regions). Moderate quality evidence suggests there is less prevalence in least developed countries compared to developed countries. High quality evidence suggests no differences in the prevalence of schizophrenia in urban versus rural or mixed urban/rural areas. The age-standardised 2016 prevalence rate was 0.28%, with variance from 0.19% in Africa, to 0.42% in East Asia.

January 2019

Last updated at: 12:56 am, 29th March 2019
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