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Comparison of schizophrenia outpatients in residential care facilities with those living with someone: Study of mental and physical health, cognitive functioning, and biomarkers of aging


This paper aims to compare mental and physical health, cognitive functioning, and selected biomarkers of aging reflecting metabolic pathology and inflammation, in outpatients with schizophrenia from two residential settings: residential care facilities (RCFs) and living with someone in a house/apartment. This cross-sectional study examined community-dwelling adults with schizophrenia either in RCFs (N = 100) or in a house/apartment with someone (N = 76), recruited for two NIH-funded studies in San Diego. Assessments included measures of mental/physical health, cognitive function, and metabolic (glycosylated hemoglobin, cholesterol) and inflammatory (C-Reactive Protein, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Interleukin-6) biomarkers of aging. General logistic models were used to analyze factors associated with residential status. RCF residents had several indicators of worse prognosis (never being married, higher daily antipsychotic dosages, increased comorbidities and higher Framingham risk for coronary heart disease) than individuals living with someone. However, RCF residents had better mental well-being and lower BMI, as well as comparable biomarkers of aging as those living with someone. While the cross-sectional nature of the study does not allow us to infer causality, it is possible that the supportive environment of RCFs may have a positive impact on mental and physical health of persons with schizophrenia. Longitudinal follow-up studies are needed to test this hypothesis.

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