July 11, 2005

Schizophrenia Greater in West

Over the years there have been many arguments over whether developed countries have higher, lower, or equivalent levels of schizophrenia diagnoses. A new survey was done in which data from 188 studies was reviewed to get a better idea of where schizophrenia is most prevalent. They found that schizophrenia was more common in developed countries, although there is speculation as to why this is happening.

"Prof McGrath said some scientists had speculated the social connectedness in village life among people living in poorer countries may cushion those with schizophrenia from some of the disability, helping them to recover...His own belief is that schizophrenia is a group of many illnesses and those in poorer parts of the world may experience less serious forms of the disorder, making them more likely to recover" (Miles, 2005).

The survey brought to light other interesting facts, such as the fact that schizophrenia happens more often in migrants than in those were born in that actual country. Migrants with darker skin were at increased risk for having schizophrenia. Some believe that this could be due to a lack of vitamin D; others think that it is due to the extra stress brought on by racism.

The results do not have clear cut causes. Many would assume that those in developed countries would have lower rates of schizophrenia simply based on the fact that they supposedly have better forms of treatment, at least more expensive forms. But this could provide insight into better treatment methods and what is or is not helpful to a patient suffering from schizophrenia. Finding the true basis as to why those in undeveloped countries have a better chance of recovery is one of the keys to improving treatment for those with schizophrenia everywhere.

The source of this article was the domestic section of AAP Information Services Pty. Ltd. AAP NEWSFEED, written there by Janelle Miles on July 11th.


Perhaps one of the reasons is that in developed countries we have far more technology and information to fuel the paranoia. It is much easier to blame the tv or radio or computer for the voices and between movies, tv and the news they have all the more reason to believe in a conspiracy.

Posted by: Motherof2 at July 12, 2005 05:30 AM

Perhaps it is because the competitive factor for jobs/status, etc in developed countries is more stressful, social expectations higher and all the consequences of not "performing" up to par trigger those with a pre-disposition of schizophrenia. Also, drug use (especially meth) is on the rise in developed countries, and often triggers schizophrenia.

Posted by: Writer at July 21, 2005 07:59 AM

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