"Health Outcomes and Cost of Care Among Older Adults with Schizophrenia: A 10-Year Study Using Medical Records Across the Continuum of Care" is published in the May print issue of The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, which is focused on schizophrenia in later life.
This study also found that hospital admissions, hospital lengths of stay, nursing home facility use and nursing home length of stay for patients with schizophrenia were significantly greater than for patients without schizophrenia.
The authors conclude that the "increasing numbers of older seriously mentally ill, particularly older patients with schizophrenia, will create a serious burden for our health system that will require the development of new integrated models of health care involving links between the health and mental health systems."
"As the population of older adults grows, the number of older patients with schizophrenia is also getting larger. We need to link their mental and physical health care in clinics where they feel comfortable and where they can be treated by clinicians who understand both their serious mental condition and their physical illnesses," Dr. Hendrie said.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, schizophrenia affects men and women equally, occurring at similar rates in all ethnic groups. Symptoms such as hallucinations and delusions typically commence between ages 16 and 30.
The 31,588 individuals in the study had an average age of 70. All were 65 or older by the end of the study and received care at Eskenazi Health, then known as Wishard Health Services. Clinical data for these patients were obtained from the Regenstrief Medical Record System, the oldest operational electronic medical record system in the United States.
"People with serious lifelong mental illness have a lif
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