Nonpsychotic psychiatric symptoms may occasionally herald the later development of schizophrenia. This study followed a population-based cohort of adolescents with nonpsychotic, non-major affective psychiatric disorders to ascertain future hospitalization for schizophrenia.
Results of the medical and mental health assessments on 124 24416- to 17-year-old males screened by the Israeli draft board were cross-linked with the National Psychiatric Hospitalization case registry, which contains data on all psychiatric hospitalizations in the country, during a 4- to 8-year-long follow-up through age 25 years. In the cohort, 9365 adolescents were assigned a nonpsychotic, non-major affective diagnosis by the draft board.
After excluding 167 adolescents who were hospitalized before or up to 1 year after the draft board assessment, 1.03% of the adolescents assigned a nonpsychotic, non-major affective psychiatric diagnosis, compared with only 0.23% of the adolescents without any psychiatric diagnosis, were later hospitalized for schizophrenia. Of the patients with schizophrenia, 26.8%, compared with only 7.4% in the general population, had been assigned a nonpsychotic, non-major affective psychiatric diagnosis in adolescence (overall odds ratio [OR], 4.5; 95% confidence interval [CI], 3.6-5.6), ranging from OR, 21.5 (95% CI, 12.6-36.6) for schizophrenia spectrum personality disorders to OR, 3.6 (95% CI, 2.1-6.2) for neurosis.
These results reflect the relatively common finding of impaired functioning in patients later hospitalized for schizophrenia and the relatively low power of these disorders in predicting schizophrenia.