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Schizophr Res. 2012 Aug;139(1-3):176-82. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.04.017. Epub 2012 May 24.

Sex differences in sub-clinical psychosis--results from a community study over 30 years.

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1
Department of General and Social Psychiatry, Psychiatric University Hospital, University of Zurich, Militärstrasse 8, 8004 Zurich, Switzerland. roessler@dgsp.uzh.ch

Abstract

Sex differences in schizophrenia have long been reported. They are found within almost all aspects of the disease, from incidence and prevalence, age of onset, symptomatology, and course to its psycho-social outcome. Many sex-related hypotheses have been developed about the biology, psychology, or sociology of that disease. A further approach to study sex differences would be to examine such differences in sub-clinical psychotic states as well. If factors related to full-blown psychosis were equally meaningful over the entire psychosis continuum, we should expect that "true" sex differences could also be identified in sub-clinical psychosis. Here, we studied sex differences in sub-clinical psychosis within a community cohort in Zurich, Switzerland. This population was followed for over 30 years and included males and females between the ages of 20/21 and 49/50. We applied two different measures of sub-clinical psychosis representing schizotypal signs and schizophrenia nuclear symptoms. Using cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, we found no significant sex differences in sub-clinical psychosis over time with respect to age of onset, symptomatology, course, or psycho-social outcome. Thus it appears that sex differences in psychosis manifest themselves at the high end of the continuum (full-blown schizophrenia) rather than within the sub-threshold range. Possibly males and females have separate thresholds for certain symptoms because they are differently vulnerable or exposed to various risk factors.

PMID:
22632902
DOI:
10.1016/j.schres.2012.04.017
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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