Mental health and chronic medical conditions: schizophrenia, its treatment, risk of metabolic complications, and health care utilization

  • Author / Creator
    Bresee, Lauren
  • Objective - To assess the relationship between schizophrenia and cardiovascular disease by evaluating metabolic risk associated with treatment for schizophrenia, prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (CV-RF) and disease (CV-D), and health care utilization in people with schizophrenia compared to the non-schizophrenic population. Methods – Four studies were completed to evaluate the dissertation objectives. A systematic review was completed to quantify the change in metabolic parameters associated with use of atypical antipsychotic agents. The second study utilized a period prevalence design to compare prevalence of CV-RF (diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia) and CV-D in people with and without schizophrenia using the administrative databases of Alberta Health and Wellness. General and cardiac specialist health care utilization was evaluated in people with schizophrenia using data from Alberta Health and Wellness. Lastly, results from the Canadian Community Health Survey were used to evaluate prevalence of CV-RF and CV-D while controlling for important lifestyle and demographic variables unavailable in the databases of Alberta Health and Wellness. Results – Use of atypical agents, particularly clozapine, resulted in statistically significant weight gain and increases in total cholesterol and blood glucose compared to typical agents. Having schizophrenia was associated with a significantly higher prevalence of diabetes, obesity, smoking, and CV-D compared to people without schizophrenia. Individuals with schizophrenia visited a general practitioner and the emergency department more often, and were more likely to be hospitalized than those without schizophrenia. Despite having a higher prevalence of coronary artery disease, individuals with schizophrenia were significantly less likely to visit a cardiologist or undergo revascularization compared to people with coronary artery disease who did not have schizophrenia. Conclusion – Individuals with schizophrenia have a considerable burden of cardiovascular disease compared to people without schizophrenia. This is likely a result of a number of factors, including medications used to treat schizophrenia, the increased prevalence of smoking and other unhealthy lifestyle factors, and the increased prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in people with schizophrenia. Individuals with schizophrenia utilize the general health care system more frequently than their non-schizophrenic counterparts, therefore the opportunity exists for monitoring for and management of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in this vulnerable population.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • School of Public Health
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Johnson, Jeffrey A (School of Public Health)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Patten, Scott B (Psychiatry; Community Health Sciences)
    • Tibbo, Philip (Psychiatry)
    • Majumdar, Sumit R (Medicine; School of Public Health)
    • Voaklander, Donald C (School of Public Health)