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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


HANDAL N., Norma  and  H. DODDS, Jon. Rates of first hospital admissions for schizophrenia in Costa Rica. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.1, n.6, pp.426-434. ISSN 1680-5348.

The factors that influence hospital admissions for schizophrenia in Costa Rica were investigated in people of both sexes who were admitted for the first time with this diagnosis (codes 295.0 to 295.9 of the International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision) in the period 1979 to 1981. Annual incidence rates were calculated using the number of hospitalized cases and the total population of the country. The average annual incidence was found to be 48.2 cases per 100 000 inhabitants. High frequencies of first admissions were seen among males 40 to 44 years of age and females 45 to 49. Incidence was highest among unmarried women, followed by divorced women. There was a significant inverse relationship between educational attainment and rates of admission for schizophrenia, and incidence rates were highest among unemployed women and housewives. The association between rate of hospitalization for schizophrenia and 10 characteristics of the cantons was studied by means of logistic regression. Only two variables¾the distance between the canton's principal town and the hospital and the volume of coffee harvest per resident¾showed a direct significant association with admission rates for schizophrenia. The cantons which had the highest number of births of children who were diagnosed as schizophrenic in adulthood were those closest to the psychiatric hospital and those that had a low level of industrial or agricultural activity, low population density, and high proportions of single or divorced persons.

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