Infectious diseases

How are infectious diseases related to schizophrenia?

Infectious diseases include the human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV), and hepatitis viruses, such as hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Schizophrenia is associated with an increased risk of these infectious diseases when compared to the general population.

What is the evidence on infectious diseases in people with schizophrenia?

Moderate quality evidence finds the prevalence rate of HIV in people with any severe mental illness, including schizophrenia, is around 8%. For hepatitis B it is around 16%, and for hepatitis C it is around 7%. HIV prevalence rates are similar between males and females with a severe mental illness, while males with a severe mental illness are more likely to have hepatitis B or C than females with a severe mental illness.

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests prevalence rates vary across regions. For HIV, rates are; 1.5% in Asia, 1.9% in Europe, 2.7% in Central and South America, 6% in North America, 19.2% in Africa. For hepatitis B, rates are; 2.2% in North America, 2.6% in Central and South America, 2.7% in Europe, 9.7% in Asia. For hepatitis C, rates are; 3.0% in Central and South America, 3.1% in Oceania, 4.4% in Asia, 4.9% in Europe, 17.4% in North America.

Moderate quality evidence finds rates are higher in people with a severe mental illness than in the general population only in regions with low overall prevalence, such as for HIV in the USA and Europe. Rates are similar between people with a severe mental illness and the general population in regions with high overall prevalence, such as for HIV in Africa, and for hepatitis B in Asia.

May 2019

Last updated at: 4:30 am, 7th May 2019
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