Prevalence of alcohol use disorders in schizophrenia--a systematic review and meta-analysis

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2009 Aug;120(2):85-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2009.01385.x. Epub 2009 Apr 3.


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.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Humans
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Prevalence
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis*
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*