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Schizophr Bull. 2018 Oct 17;44(6):1195-1203. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sby058.

Global Epidemiology and Burden of Schizophrenia: Findings From the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.

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School of Public Health, The University of Queensland, Herston, Australia.
Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, Wacol, Australia.
Department of Global Health, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, University of Washington, Seattle, WA.
National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), University of New South Wales, Randwick, Australia.
Centre for Clinical Research, The University of Queensland, Herston, Australia.
Metro North Mental Health, Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Herston, Australia.
Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia.
National Center for Register-Based Research, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.



The global burden of disease (GBD) studies have derived detailed and comparable epidemiological and burden of disease estimates for schizophrenia. We report GBD 2016 estimates of schizophrenia prevalence and burden of disease with disaggregation by age, sex, year, and for all countries.


We conducted a systematic review to identify studies reporting the prevalence, incidence, remission, and/or excess mortality associated with schizophrenia. Reported estimates which met our inclusion criteria were entered into a Bayesian meta-regression tool used in GBD 2016 to derive prevalence for 20 age groups, 7 super-regions, 21 regions, and 195 countries and territories. Burden of disease estimates were derived for acute and residual states of schizophrenia by multiplying the age-, sex-, year-, and location-specific prevalence by 2 disability weights representative of the disability experienced during these states.


The systematic review found a total of 129 individual data sources. The global age-standardized point prevalence of schizophrenia in 2016 was estimated to be 0.28% (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 0.24-0.31). No sex differences were observed in prevalence. Age-standardized point prevalence rates did not vary widely across countries or regions. Globally, prevalent cases rose from 13.1 (95% UI: 11.6-14.8) million in 1990 to 20.9 (95% UI: 18.5-23.4) million cases in 2016. Schizophrenia contributes 13.4 (95% UI: 9.9-16.7) million years of life lived with disability to burden of disease globally.


Although schizophrenia is a low prevalence disorder, the burden of disease is substantial. Our modeling suggests that significant population growth and aging has led to a large and increasing disease burden attributable to schizophrenia, particularly for middle income countries.

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