Objective: Our aim was to present recent studies of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in patients with schizophrenia, estimate overall prevalence and characteristics affecting the prevalence of AUDs.
Method: We conducted a search using three literature databases and a manual search on articles published in 1996-2008. Meta-regression was used to study how prevalence is affected by different study characteristics. Articles that reported diagnoses according to DSM or ICD diagnostic systems were included.
Results: Altogether 60 studies met our criteria. The median of current AUD prevalence was 9.4% (inter-quartile range, IQR 4.6-19.0, 18 studies) and median of lifetime AUD prevalence 20.6% (IQR 12.0-34.5, 47 studies). In studies using DSM-III-R median prevalence was higher than that in studies using DSM-IV, ICD-9 or ICD-10 (32/17/11/6%).
Conclusion: Approximately every fifth patient with schizophrenia had lifetime AUD diagnosis. When contrasted with the most recent review, there might be a descending trend in AUD prevalence in patients with schizophrenia.