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Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2009 Sep-Oct;37(5):258-66.

[Somatotype and schizophrenia. A case-control study].

[Article in Spanish]

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Institut d'Atenció Psiquiátrica: Salut Mental i Toxicomanies, Hospital del Mar (IMAS), Unidad Docente Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UDIMAS).



To compare somatotypes of schizophrenic patients and healthy controls and to examine some associations between somatic (joint mobility, somatotype) and psychopathological (anxiety, clinical seriousness and schizophrenic types) features.


Thirty four in-patients with DSM-IV diagnosis of schizophrenia assessed by SCID-I, aged 18 to 50 years, were recruited as cases. Thirty two subjects of a general non-clinical population were recruited as controls. Heath-Carter method and 5 questions to detect joint hypermobility were used to assess both somatotype and joint hypermobility. Trait anxiety (STAI) and BPRS were assessed at medical discharge.


There were no statistically significant differences between mean somatotype groups (cases: 4(1/2) 5(1/2) 1(1/2); controls: 5 - 5 - 1(1/2)). Schizophrenic patients showed significantly more divergence among themselves in relationship to their own common mean [t = 1.98; gl = 64; p = 0.05] and accounted for more ectomorphic categories than the control group. Somatotype means of paranoid and disorganized types were significantly more homogeneous (with greater values of ectomorphism) than undifferentiated type [X2 = 6.61; gl = 2; p = 0.037]. There was a tendency towards positive association between anxiety - joint hypermobility and anxiety- ectomorphism, but it did not reach a statistically significant level.


In spite of their limitations, the results provide suggestive data for identification of subtypes in mental illnesses that can be used as a nosologic knowledge or as potential risk markers.

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