From the Journals

Increased schizophrenia, affective disorder risks associated with infections


Increased risks of schizophrenia and affective disorders were found to be associated with infections treated with anti-infective agents and with infections requiring hospitalization, a large-scale study shows.

Researchers examined health records of all 1,015,447 individuals born in Denmark from 1985 to 2002, their history of treatment of infection, and the risk of schizophrenia and affective disorders.

Infections previously have been shown to be associated with increased risks of mental disorders. The goal of the current study was to investigate whether the use of anti-infective agents in primary care settings had a similar association.

And the researchers did find such an association: an increased risk of schizophrenia (hazard ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.57) and an increased risk of affective disorders (HR, 1.64; 95% CI, 1.48-1.82) associated with the use of anti-infective agents.

“The excess risk was primarily driven by infections treated with antibiotics, whereas infections treated with antivirals, antimycotics, and antiparasitic agents were not significant after mutual adjustment,” wrote Ole Köhler, MD, of Aarhus University Hospital, Risskov, Denmark, and his associates (Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2017 Feb;135[2]:97-105).

An even higher risk of schizophrenia and affective disorders was found to be associated with individuals with infections requiring hospitalization (HR, 2.05; 95% CI, 1.77-2.38; and HR, 2.59; 95% CI, 2.31-2.89; respectively). Find more details about the study here.

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