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J Glob Health. 2015 Jun;5(1):010410. doi: 10.7189/jogh.05.010410.

Prevalence of schizophrenia in China between 1990 and 2010.

Author information

1
Centre for Population Health Sciences and Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Scotland, UK ; World Health Organization's Collaborative Centre for Population Health Research and Training ; Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne, Australia ; Joint first authors.
2
Municipal Key Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China ; Joint first authors.
3
Harvard Global Equity Initiative, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA ; Copenhagen School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
4
Centre for Population Health Sciences and Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Scotland, UK ; World Health Organization's Collaborative Centre for Population Health Research and Training.
5
Municipal Key Laboratory of Clinical Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China ; Joint senior authors.
6
Centre for Population Health Sciences and Global Health Academy, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Scotland, UK ; World Health Organization's Collaborative Centre for Population Health Research and Training ; Joint senior authors.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Dramatic development and changes in lifestyle in many low and middle-income countries (LMIC) over the past three decades may have affected mental health of their populations. Being the largest country and having the most striking record of development, industrialization and urbanization, China provides an important opportunity for studying the nature and magnitude of possible effects.

METHODS:

We reviewed CNKI, WanFang and PubMed databases for epidemiological studies of schizophrenia in mainland China published between 1990 and 2010. We identified 42 studies that reported schizophrenia prevalence using internationally recognized diagnostic criteria, with breakdown by rural and urban residency. The analysis involved a total of 2 284 957 persons, with 10 506 diagnosed with schizophrenia. Bayesian methods were used to estimate the probability of case of schizophrenia ("prevalence") by type of residency in different years.

FINDINGS:

In urban China, lifetime prevalence was 0.39% (0.37-0.41%) in 1990, 0.57% (0.55-0.59%) in 2000 and 0.83% (0.75-0.91%) in 2010. In rural areas, the corresponding rates were 0.37% (0.34-0.40%), 0.43% (0.42-0.44%) and 0.50% (0.47-0.53%). In 1990 there were 3.09 (2.87-3.32) million people in China affected with schizophrenia during their lifetime. The number of cases rose to 7.16 (6.57-7.75) million in 2010, a 132% increase, while the total population increased by 18%. The contribution of cases from urban areas to the overall burden increased from 27% in 1990 to 62% in 2010.

CONCLUSIONS:

The prevalence of schizophrenia in China has more than doubled between 1990 and 2010, with rates being particularly high in the most developed areas of modern China. This has broad implications, as the ongoing development in LMIC countries may be increasing the global prevalence of schizophrenia.

PMID:
26649171
PMCID:
PMC4663755
DOI:
10.7189/jogh.05.010410
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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