Musculoskeletal and connective tissues

How are musculoskeletal and connective tissue abnormalities related to schizophrenia?

People with schizophrenia show increased rates of co-occurring conditions, including various disorders affecting the musculoskeletal system. Common disorders include; osteoporosis and the less severe osteopenia, which occur when bones lose minerals more quickly than the body can replace them, causing a loss of bone thickness; rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus result from a malfunctioning immune system that mistakenly attacks healthy tissue; and ankylosing spondylitis is a type of inflammatory arthritis that mainly affects the spine.

What is the evidence for comorbid musculoskeletal and connective tissue abnormalities?

Moderate quality evidence finds small to medium-sized increased rates of fractures and osteoporosis in people with schizophrenia compared to controls. However, there are reduced rates of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. No significant differences were found in rates of osteopenia or systemic lupus erythematosus.

May 2019

Last updated at: 3:18 am, 7th May 2019
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