Women With Schizophrenia May Be at Greater Risk for Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer incidence is higher in women with schizophrenia than in general female population.
Breast cancer incidence is higher in women with schizophrenia than in general female population.

(HealthDay News) -- The incidence of breast cancer in women with schizophrenia may be higher than that of the general female population, according to a review and meta-analysis published online March 7 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Chuanjun Zhuo, M.D., Ph.D., from Tianjin Medical University in China, and Patrick Todd Triplett, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, conducted a systematic literature review to identify cohort studies reporting the standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for the risk of breast cancer in women with schizophrenia compared with the general population.

The researchers included 12 cohorts (760 women) in this meta-analysis. Pooled analysis showed that schizophrenia was associated with a significantly increased risk of breast cancer incidence in women (SIR, 1.31; P < 0.001). However, substantial between-study variance, as suggested by the wide prediction interval (0.81 to 2.10), indicated the possibility that a future study could show different results. Additionally, subgroup analysis showed that the association was not significantly affected by either the sample size of included studies or exclusion of breast cancer cases at baseline.

"The incidence of breast cancer in women with schizophrenia is higher than that of the general female population. However, significant heterogeneity exists among the included studies," the authors write. "Women with schizophrenia deserve intensive prevention and treatment of breast cancer."

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