What is the current likelihood of transitioning to psychosis in individuals at clinical high risk?
In this meta-analysis of 130 longitudinal studies, including 9222 individuals at clinical high risk for psychosis from 74 cohorts, the risk of developing psychosis continued increasing after 2 years, cumulating to 25% at 3 years and reaching 35% at 10 years. Risk of transitioning to psychosis was higher in studies with a lower proportion of female individuals and a higher proportion of individuals presenting with brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms.
This updated meta-analysis indicates that the probability of transitioning to psychosis in individuals at clinical high risk is substantial and continues increasing in the long term, suggesting that an extended duration of clinical monitoring and preventive care may be beneficial.
Estimating the current likelihood of transitioning from a clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR-P) to psychosis holds paramount importance for preventive care and applied research.
To quantitatively examine the consistency and magnitude of transition risk to psychosis in individuals at CHR-P.
PubMed and Web of Science databases until November 1, 2020. Manual search of references from previous articles.
Longitudinal studies reporting transition risks in individuals at CHR-P.
Data Extraction and Synthesis
Meta-analysis compliant with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) and Meta-analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) reporting guidelines; independent data extraction, manually and through digitalization of Kaplan-Meier curves.
Main Outcome and Measures
Primary effect size was cumulative risk of transition to psychosis at 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 2.5, 3, 4, and more than 4 years’ follow-up, estimated using the numbers of individuals at CHR-P transitioning to psychosis at each time point. These analyses were complemented by meta-analytical Kaplan-Meier curves and speed of transition to psychosis (hazard rate). Random-effects meta-analysis, between-study heterogeneity analysis, study quality assessment, and meta-regressions were conducted.
A total of 130 studies and 9222 individuals at CHR-P were included. The mean (SD) age was 20.3 (4.4) years, and 5100 individuals (55.3%) were male. The cumulative transition risk was 0.09 (95% CI, 0.07-0.10; k = 37; n = 6485) at 0.5 years, 0.15 (95% CI, 0.13-0.16; k = 53; n = 7907) at 1 year, 0.20 (95% CI, 0.17-0.22; k = 30; n = 5488) at 1.5 years, 0.19 (95% CI, 0.17-0.22; k = 44; n = 7351) at 2 years, 0.25 (95% CI, 0.21-0.29; k = 19; n = 3114) at 2.5 years, 0.25 (95% CI, 0.22-0.29; k = 29; n = 4029) at 3 years, 0.27 (95% CI, 0.23-0.30; k = 16; n = 2926) at 4 years, and 0.28 (95% CI, 0.20-0.37; k = 14; n = 2301) at more than 4 years. The cumulative Kaplan-Meier transition risk was 0.08 (95% CI, 0.08-0.09; n = 4860) at 0.5 years, 0.14 (95% CI, 0.13-0.15; n = 3408) at 1 year, 0.17 (95% CI, 0.16-0.19; n = 2892) at 1.5 years, 0.20 (95% CI, 0.19-0.21; n = 2357) at 2 years, 0.25 (95% CI, 0.23-0.26; n = 1444) at 2.5 years, 0.27 (95% CI, 0.25-0.28; n = 1029) at 3 years, 0.28 (95% CI, 0.26-0.29; n = 808) at 3.5 years, 0.29 (95% CI, 0.27-0.30; n = 737) at 4 years, and 0.35 (95% CI, 0.32-0.38; n = 114) at 10 years. The hazard rate only plateaued at 4 years’ follow-up. Meta-regressions showed that a lower proportion of female individuals (β = −0.02; 95% CI, −0.04 to −0.01) and a higher proportion of brief limited intermittent psychotic symptoms (β = 0.02; 95% CI, 0.01-0.03) were associated with an increase in transition risk. Heterogeneity across the studies was high (I2 range, 77.91% to 95.73%).
Conclusions and Relevance
In this meta-analysis, 25% of individuals at CHR-P developed psychosis within 3 years. Transition risk continued increasing in the long term. Extended clinical monitoring and preventive care may be beneficial in this patient population.
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Salazar de Pablo G, Radua J, Pereira J, et al. Probability of Transition to Psychosis in Individuals at Clinical High Risk: An Updated Meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry. Published online July 14, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2021.0830
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