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August 1984

Schizophrenia and Age Considerations

Author Affiliations

Carrier Foundation PO Box 147 Belle Mead, NJ 08502

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1984;41(8):819. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1984.01790190093014

To the Editor.—  In his article "Sex Difference in Age at Onset of Schizophrenia,"1 Loranger presented data on 100 male and 100 female subjects from a review of medical records. Loranger claimed that these patients unequivocally met the DSM-III criteria for schizophrenia. His cumulative percentage table for the age at onset of schizophrenia showed that 8% of the female subjects had their first psychotic episode at the age of 45 years or older, that 6% of the women were untreated, and that 9% were not hospitalized until the age of 45 years or older. The DSM-III criteria specify the onset of the prodromal or active phase of illness before the age of 45 years for a diagnosis of schizophrenia. This definition calls into doubt the consideration of female patients older than 45 years who were included in this report as unequivocally schizophrenic.

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