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Regional differences in schizophrenia incidence in Denmark

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Objective:To examine the regional distribution of schizophrenia incidence in Denmark.

Method:A cohort consisting of 2441 Danish psychiatric patients, with first‐time admissions between January 1, 1978 and December 31, 1982, and diagnosed as having schizophrenia (ICD‐8) at least once in a 10‐year period of observation was divided into three regional groups by degree of urbanization.

Results:Incidence increased for both sexes with increasing urbanization. A diagnostic delay was most pronounced in the least urbanized areas and was most pronounced for women.

Conclusion:Our study confirms the existence of regional differences in schizophrenia incidence on a national basis. Marked regional differences in diagnostic delay were also demonstrated. A possible explanation could be regional differences in diagnostic procedures, underlining the importance of uniform diagnostic patterns as a means for reliable mapping of psychiatric morbidity and, hopefully, adequate treatment.

Keywords: age at first admission; diagnostic delay; gender differences; incidence; regional differences; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Psychiatry, Central Hospital in Holbæk, 2: Department of Psychiatric Demography, Psychiatric Hospital in Aarhus, Risskov and 3: Department P, Sct. Hans Hospital, Roskilde, Denmark

Publication date: April 1, 2000

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