Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Substance Abuse Factor In Higher Risk Of Violent Crime By Persons With Schizophrenia

Date:
May 22, 2009
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
The increased risk of persons with schizophrenia committing violent crime may be largely mediated by co-existing substance abuse problems, according to a new study.

The increased risk of persons with schizophrenia committing violent crime may be largely mediated by co-existing substance abuse problems, according to a new study.

Many studies have reported on the association between major mental disorder and violence, including some that specifically have examined the relationship with schizophrenia. "These reports typically find that schizophrenia is related to a 4- to 6-fold increased risk of violent behavior, which has led to the view that schizophrenia and other major mental disorders are preventable causes of violence and violent crime," the authors write. They add that considerable uncertainty exists as to what is the cause of this elevated risk. Some studies have indicated that substance abuse may play a role.

Seena Fazel, M.D., of the University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, England, and colleagues examined the relationship of schizophrenia with violent crime and the possible role of substance abuse. The study included data from nationwide Swedish registers of hospital admissions and criminal convictions from 1973-2006. Risk of violent crime in patients after diagnosis of schizophrenia (n = 8,003) was compared with that among general population controls (n = 80,025). Potential confounders (factors that can influence outcomes; age, sex, income, and marital and immigrant status) and mediators (intervening factors such as substance abuse) were measured at the beginning of the study. To study familial confounding, the researchers also investigated risk of violence among unaffected siblings (n = 8,123) of patients with schizophrenia.

The researchers found that among patients with schizophrenia, 1,504 (13.2 percent) had at least 1 violent offense compared with 4,276 (5.3 percent) of general population controls (adjusted odds ratio, 2.0). The rate of violent crime in individuals diagnosed as having schizophrenia and substance abuse (27.6 percent) was significantly higher than in those without substance abuse (8.5 percent), which resulted in adjusted odds ratios of 4.4 for violent crime in schizophrenia with substance abuse and 1.2 in schizophrenia without substance abuse.

The risk increase among those with substance abuse was significantly less pronounced when unaffected siblings were used as controls (28.3 percent of those with schizophrenia had a violent offense compared with 17.9 percent of their unaffected siblings), suggesting significant familial (genetic or early environmental) confounding of the association between schizophrenia and violence.

"We demonstrate that the risk of violent crime in schizophrenia in patients without comorbid substance abuse is only slightly increased. In contrast, the risk is substantially increased among patients with comorbidity and suggests that current practice for violence risk assessment and management in schizophrenia may need review," the authors conclude.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Fazel et al. Schizophrenia, Substance Abuse, and Violent Crime. JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009; 301 (19): 2016 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2009.675

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Substance Abuse Factor In Higher Risk Of Violent Crime By Persons With Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519172105.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2009, May 22). Substance Abuse Factor In Higher Risk Of Violent Crime By Persons With Schizophrenia. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519172105.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Substance Abuse Factor In Higher Risk Of Violent Crime By Persons With Schizophrenia." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090519172105.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins