Prevalence of Cardiovascular Disease and Comorbid Risk Factors in Patients in Puerto Rico with Schizophrenia

Alejandro Bugarini, Stephanie Maldonado, Nicole Rodriguez, Devang Jani, Christian Rivera, Yarelis Reyes-Velazquez, Yaritza Inostroza-Nieves


Objective: The mortality rate of schizophrenia patients is higher than that of the general population; cardiovascular disease (CVD) is their leading cause of death. This issue must be studied since people with schizophrenia are disproportionately burdened with CVD. Therefore, our goal was to identify the prevalence of CVD and other comorbidities, stratified by age and gender, in patients with schizophrenia living in Puerto Rico. Methods: A retrospective, case-control, descriptive study was conducted. Subjects in this study were admitted to Dr. Federico Trilla’s hospital from 2004 through 2014 for both psychiatric- and non psychiatric conditions. The sample populations were stratified by the confounding variables of tobacco use and alcohol abuse, and the resulting stratification was analyzed with the Cochran–Mantel–Haenszel method. Results: A higher frequency of CVDs was noted in the patients with schizophrenia compared to those in the control group. Although hypertension was the most frequent pathology encountered in both groups, ischemic heart disease was approximately four times more frequent in the patients with schizophrenia. CVD represented 58.4% and 52.7% in the schizophrenia and non-schizophrenia groups, respectively, although a statistically significant difference was not observed. The prevalence of malignancies in patients without schizophrenia was higher than in patients with schizophrenia. Moreover, the prevalence of asthma was 10.9% in the control group compared to 5.3% in the schizophrenia group. Conclusion: These findings should motivate a systematic approach to prioritizing the aggressive management, early diagnosis, and prevention of comorbid risk factors in patients with schizophrenia.


Schizophrenia; Comorbidities; Cardiovascular Diseases; Prevalence; Puerto Rico

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