The enduring gap in educational attainment in schizophrenia

The Lancet PsychiatryScott Cunningham MD PhD, et al. | August 11, 2022



In addition to the adverse effects of anti-psychotic medications, inherited traits, and poor lifestyle, there is a strong association between years of education attained in patients with schizophrenia and all-cause and CVD-related mortality, which results in years of life lost.

The literature was searched for studies (n=3321) involving patients with schizophrenia (n=318,632 [healthy controls, n=138,675]) and the level of education achieved. A meta-analysis was performed. The years of education completed was the primary outcome.

The years of education among patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls has increased over time.

On average, however, patients with schizophrenia had 19 months less education than healthy controls. The OR for not completing 12 years of education for patients with schizophrenia was 2.58.

The gap in education between patients with schizophrenia and healthy controls was less in low-income countries compared to high-income countries.