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Am J Psychiatry. 1999 Nov;156(11):1736-43.

Depressive symptoms in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, and the San Diego VA Healthcare System, 92161, USA.



The authors assessed the presence and severity of depressive symptoms, as well as their associations with other clinical measures, in a group of mid- to late-life patients with schizophrenia who were not in a major depressive episode or diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder.


Sixty outpatients with schizophrenia between the ages of 45 and 79 years and 60 normal comparison subjects without major neuropsychiatric disorders, proportionally matched for age and gender, were studied. Depressive symptoms were rated primarily with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. Standardized instruments were also used to measure global psychopathology, positive and negative symptoms, abnormalities of movement, and global cognitive status.


Depressive symptoms were more frequent and more severe in schizophrenic patients than in normal comparison subjects; 20% of the women with schizophrenia had a Hamilton depression scale score of 17 or more. Severity of depressive symptoms correlated with that of positive symptoms but not with age, gender, negative symptoms, extrapyramidal symptoms, or neuroleptic dose.


Depressive symptoms are common in older patients with schizophrenia. They may be an independent, core component of the disorder or, alternatively, may be a by-product of severe psychotic symptoms.

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