Socioeconomic status

What is socioeconomic status (SES)?

SES is an economic and sociological measure of a person’s work experience and of an individual’s or families’ economic and social position relative to others. Any associations found between socioeconomic status and risk for schizophrenia has been largely inconsistent. There are many factors related to socioeconomic status which may have influence on any associations observed such as urban living, stressful life events, and migrant status. There is also a possibility that people with schizophrenia, particularly if unable to work, experience lower SES status than the general population.

What is the evidence for a relationship between low socioeconomic status and risk for schizophrenia?

Moderate quality evidence finds a small increase in the incidence (new cases) of schizophrenia in countries with increased national income inequality. Moderate to low quality evidence finds an association between neighbourhood-level socioeconomic deprivation and increased incidence of psychotic disorders in general. There is also a small increase in the prevalence (all cases) of subclinical psychotic symptoms in people with low income or poor education, and in unemployed people.

Moderate to low quality evidence finds lower prevalence rates of schizophrenia in least developed countries compared to emerging and developed countries, with no differences in incidence rates. Authors suggest that the course of schizophrenia may be less favourable in developed nations.

March 2019

Last updated at: 5:08 am, 16th March 2019
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