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History of Suicide Attempts and COVID-19 Infection in Veterans with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder: Moderating Effects of Age and Body Mass Index.

Okusaga OO, Kember RL, Peloso GM, Peterson RE, Vujkovic M, Mitchell BG, Bernard J, Walder A, Bigdeli TB. History of Suicide Attempts and COVID-19 Infection in Veterans with Schizophrenia or Schizoaffective Disorder: Moderating Effects of Age and Body Mass Index. Complex psychiatry. 2021 Dec 1; 392:1789-1795.

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Abstract:

Introduction: Relative to the general population, patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder have higher rates of suicide attempts and mortality from COVID-19 infection. Therefore, determining whether a history of suicide attempt is associated with COVID-19 in patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder has implications for COVID-19 vulnerability stratification in this patient population. Methods: We carried out cross-sectional analyses of electronic health records of veterans with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder that received treatment at any United States Veterans Affairs Medical Center between January 1, 2020, and January 31, 2021. We used logistic regression to estimate unadjusted and adjusted (including age, sex, race, marital status, body mass index (BMI), and a medical comorbidity score) odds ratios (ORs) for COVID-19 positivity in suicide attempters relative to nonattempters. Results: A total of 101,032 veterans (mean age 56.67 ± 13.13 years; males 91,715 [90.8%]) were included in the analyses. There were 2,703 (2.7%) suicide attempters and 719 (0.7%) patients were positive for COVID-19. The association between history of suicide attempt and COVID-19 positivity was modified by age and BMI, such that the relationship was only significant in patients younger than 59 years, and in obese (BMI 30) patients (adjusted OR 3.42, 95% CI 2.02-5.79 and OR 2.85, 95% CI 1.65-4.94, respectively). Conclusions: Higher rates of COVID-19 in young or obese suicide attempters with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder might be due to the elevated risk for the infection in this subgroup of patients.





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