Epidemiology and Biostatistics Publications


The risk of physical multimorbidity in people with psychotic disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis

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Journal of Psychosomatic Research



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Background: The occurrence of multiple co-occurring chronic health conditions, known as multimorbidity, is associated with decreases in quality of life for patients and poses unique challenges for healthcare systems. Since people with psychotic disorders have an excess of physical health conditions compared to the general population, they may also be at a higher risk for multimorbidity. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to quantify the prevalence and excess risk of multimorbidity among people with psychotic disorders, relative to those without psychosis. Methods: We searched the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsycINFO databases, and conducted forward and backward citation tracing of included studies. Studies published after 1990 were included if they reported the prevalence of multiple chronic physical health conditions among people with psychotic disorders. Data on the prevalence and relative risk of multimorbidity were meta-analyzed using random effects models. Results: Fourteen studies met the inclusion criteria, and eight were included in the meta-analysis. Each study used a different operational definition of multimorbidity, both for the number and types of chronic conditions, which resulted in a wide range in prevalence estimates (16% to 91%). People with psychotic disorders had an increased risk of multimorbidity (RR = 1.69, 95%CI = 1.37,2.08), relative to those without psychosis. Conclusions: People with psychotic disorders are more likely to experience multimorbidity than those without psychotic disorders. Clinicians treating people with psychosis should closely monitor for a range of physical health conditions. Future research examining multimorbidity among people with psychiatric illness should employ consistent definitions to better enable cross-study comparisons.

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