Gender effects have been reported quite consistently in schizophrenia, with male patients having an earlier age of onset, poorer functional outcome, greater negative symptoms and cognitive impairment, and less severe positive symptoms. Because age of onset, cognitive impairments, and negative symptoms are all correlated with poorer functional status, it is not clear if previously reported gender differences in symptoms are just recapturing gender differences in functional outcome. In this study, 205 geriatric patients with lifelong poor-outcome schizophrenia (43% male) were examined for the severity of schizophrenic symptoms, cognitive impairments, and specific deficits in adaptive skills, as well as for demographic differences such as age at first psychiatric admission, premorbid education, and current treatment status. Previously reported gender differences were replicated in these patients with a uniformly poor functional outcome, with male patients having more severe negative symptoms and an earlier age of first psychiatric admission. No differences in cognitive functioning or specific functional deficits were found, however. These findings suggest that negative symptom severity is greater in male patients regardless of functional outcome and that the association of cognitive deficits with gender may be found only in patients with better functional outcome. The study of gender-related differences in brain structure or function and their interaction with overall course of illness might help understand these differences in symptom presentation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2001|
- Negative symptoms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health