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J Clin Psychiatry. 1999;60 Suppl 1:4-6; discussion 28-30.

The economic impact of schizophrenia.

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Institute for Health & Aging, University of California at San Francisco, 94118, USA.


Although schizophrenia afflicts 1.1% of the U.S. population, it imposes a disproportionately large economic burden due to expenditures for hospitalization, treatment and rehabilitation, and lost productivity. Cost-of-illness studies, using a variety of methodologies to calculate direct and indirect costs, have estimated that in 1990 the total economic burden of schizophrenia was $32.5 billion. Of this total, $17.3 billion was attributable to direct medical costs. By comparison, in the same year the total and direct medical costs for anxiety disorders, which are more than 10 times more prevalent than schizophrenia, were $46.6 billion and $10.7 billion, respectively. For affective disorders, almost 10 times more prevalent than schizophrenia, the total and direct costs were $30.4 billion and $19.2 billion, respectively. Effective treatments used early in the course of schizophrenia can help reduce the costs associated with this illness.

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