Nevin Manimala Statistics

Cardiac healthcare disparities and electrocardiography (ECG) differences in schizophrenia at end of life

Schizophr Res. 2023 Nov 3;262:60-66. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2023.10.017. Online ahead of print.


Schizophrenia is associated with early mortality of 15 to 20 years, and 80 % of deaths are due to cardiovascular disease with a three-times greater risk of sudden-cardiac-death. While lifestyle, medications, genetics, and healthcare disparities are contributing factors, the etiology of this complex process is not fully understood. The aim of this study is to examine cardiac-related healthcare utilization and electrocardiogram (ECG) outcomes in schizophrenia at the end of life (EOL). A cohort of individuals with schizophrenia (SG) (n = 610, ≥50 years) were identified retrospectively from a unified clinical data platform and measures of cardiovascular healthcare utilization were evaluated within a 12-month period prior to death. Similarly, a control group (n = 610) was randomly identified and matched by gender (53 % females) and age of death (72.8 ± 12.4 years). Statistical methods included Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel and mixed-effects logistic & linear regression tests with adjustments for match strata and marital status, race, age, and gender as covariates. Results indicate that SG was more likely to be unmarried, unemployed, or from minority groups (all p < 0.001), and more likely to have diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease (p < 0.001). SG was less likely to receive an ECG (p = 0.001) or cardiac catheterization procedure (p < 0.001). SG had a greater mean QTc (447.2 ms vs. 434.6 ms; p = 0.001) and were twice as likely to have “prolonged QT” on ECG report (p = 0.006). In conclusion, SG had reduced likelihood of cardiac-related healthcare interventions, and despite greater likelihood of prolonged QTc, a recognized biomarker of cardiac risk, ECG was less likely at EOL. Given greater cardiac comorbidity and risk of sudden cardiac death in schizophrenia, improved practice guidelines are needed.

PMID:37925752 | DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2023.10.017

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