This is a chronic progressive disorder and carries a grim prognosis. It tends to affect young, productive individuals. “The peak onset is age 18-25 years for males and age 26-45 years for females”. (Gerstein 2007)
“To underscore the profound impact of this illness, an editorial in the journal Science described schizophrenia as the worst disease affecting mankind (not excepting AIDS) for the following reasons:
- Lost productivity in theUnited Statescosts an estimated $20 billion per year.
- The completed suicide rate is 10%.
- Premature death may result from poor health maintenance, substance abuse, poverty, and homelessness.” (Gerstein 2007)
In the United States: “The approximate lifetime incidence is 1% or 3 million individuals. In 1990, direct and indirect costs were estimated to be $33 billion, accounting for 2.5% of the healthcare dollar. Patients with schizophrenia occupy as many as 25% of all hospital beds at any given time.” The lifetime risk of developing schizophrenia is equal for men and women. However, women fare much better than men and also have a much better response to therapy. (Gerstein 2007)
Internationally: “A remarkably constant 1% worldwide lifetime incidence exists across all cultural, geographic, and socioeconomic boundaries.” (Gerstein 2007)
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