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Date of this Version



General Hospital Psychiatry 33 (2011) 232–237;


Objective: To assess the prevalence of three liver diseases [hepatitis C virus (HCV), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcohol-induced cirrhosis] in patients (veterans) with/without schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder.

Methods: A retrospective electronic chart review of Veterans Integrated Services Network 20 facilities from January 1, 2001 to December 21, 2006 selected patients to one of two groups: schizophrenia/schizoaffective disorder or bipolar disorder. Patients in both groups were compared with veterans in an equal-sized random sample from the same data set of veterans without psychiatric diagnoses. Logistic regression models evaluated risk for overall liver diseases as well as HCV, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and alcoholic-induced cirrhosis.

Results: Patients with schizophrenia (n=6521) had a higher prevalence of liver disease [22.4% versus 3.2%; odds ratio (OR)=8.73]; HCV (16.5% versus 1.9%; OR=10.21); and alcohol-related cirrhosis (1.6% versus 0.4%; OR=4.09) than matched controls. Patients with bipolar disorder (n=5319) had a higher prevalence of liver disease (21.5% versus 3.5%; OR=7.58); HCV (15.5% versus 2.1%; OR=8.60); and alcohol-related cirrhosis (1.6% versus 0.4%; OR=3.82) than matched controls. Risk factors for liver disease in patients with schizophrenia (versus matched controls) included diabetes (OR=1.29), hypertension (OR=1.27), HIV (OR=3.54), substance use disorder (SUD) (OR=2.28), alcohol use disorder (OR=3.05) and schizophrenia (OR=2.74). Risk factors for development of liver disease for patients with bipolar disorder: diabetes (OR=1.40), HIV (OR=3.66), SUD (OR=2.68), alcohol use disorder (OR=3.22) and bipolar disorder (OR=2.27). Conclusions: This study in veterans shows that the presence of mental illness and its comorbidities represents a significant risk factor for the diagnosis of liver disease, including HCV and alcohol-related cirrhosis.

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