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Clin Schizophr Relat Psychoses. 2010 Oct;4(3):161-8. doi: 10.3371/CSRP.4.3.2.

Incidence and costs of cardiometabolic conditions in patients with schizophrenia treated with antipsychotic medications.

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  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Columbia, SC 29203, USA. jeanette.jerrell@uscmed.sc.edu


To examine the incidence of cardiometabolic conditions and change in care costs for patients with schizophrenia treated with antipsychotic medications, medical and pharmacy claims from the South Carolina Medicaid program were used to compare the incidence rates for five cardiometabolic conditions in 2,231 patients with schizophrenia who were newly prescribed one of seven antipsychotic medications, using a retrospective cohort design spanning three years. Incidence and cumulative prevalence (pre-existing + incident) rates for the five cardiometabolic conditions were: 10%/23.3% for Type II diabetes mellitus, 7%/13.3% for obesity/excessive weight gain, 17%/20.9% for dyslipidemia, 4.5%/7.3% for high blood pressure, and 15.6%/41.8% for hypertension. After being treated with the antipsychotic medications examined, the odds of developing obesity/excessive weight gain, Type II diabetes mellitus, or dyslipidemia were not significantly related to any specific atypical agent compared to haloperidol. Incidence rates for elevated blood pressure and clinically diagnosed hypertension were higher for patients prescribed ziprasidone (Odds Ratio [OR]=2.41, Confidence Intervals [CI]=1.20-4.85; OR=1.83, CI=1.16-2.90, respectively) relative to those prescribed haloperidol. Cost results indicate significant differences over time in medical service and pharmacy costs in the group which developed incident cardiometabolic conditions. Individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia with moderate prevalence and incidence rates for these cardiometabolic conditions demonstrated substantially decreasing medical care costs over the three years examined, perhaps indicating a widening gap in access to needed services for conditions that are known mortality risk factors.

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