Gender, age at onset, and duration of being ill as predictors for the long-term course and outcome of schizophrenia: an international multicenter study

Konstantinos N. Fountoulakis, Elena Dragioti, Antonis T. Theofilidis, Tobias Wiklund, Xenofon Atmatzidis, Ioannis Nimatoudis, Erik Thys, Martien Wampers, Luchezar Hranov, Trayana Hristova, Daniil Aptalidis, Roumen Milev, Felicia Iftene, Filip Spaniel, Pavel Knytl, Petra Furstova, Tiina From, Henry Karlsson, Maija Walta, Raimo K.R. SalokangasJean Michel Azorin, Justine Bouniard, Julie Montant, Georg Juckel, Ida S. Haussleiter, Athanasios Douzenis, Ioannis Michopoulos, Panagiotis Ferentinos, Nikolaos Smyrnis, Leonidas Mantonakis, Zsófia Nemes, Xenia Gonda, Dora Vajda, Anita Juhasz, Amresh Shrivastava, John Waddington, Maurizio Pompili, Anna Comparelli, Valentina Corigliano, Elmars Rancans, Alvydas Navickas, Jan Hilbig, Laurynas Bukelskis, Lidija I. Stevovic, Sanja Vodopic, Oluyomi Esan, Oluremi Oladele, Christopher Osunbote, Janusz K. Rybakowski, Pawel Wojciak, Klaudia Domowicz, Maria L. Figueira, Ludgero Linhares, Joana Crawford, Anca Livia Panfil, Daria Smirnova, Olga Izmailova, Dusica Lecic-Tosevski, Henk Temmingh, Fleur Howells, Julio Bobes, Maria P. Garcia-Portilla, Leticia García-Alvarez, Gamze Erzin, Hasan Karadağ, Avinash De Sousa, Anuja Bendre, Cyril Hoschl, Cristina Bredicean, Ion Papava, Olivera Vukovic, Bojana Pejuskovic, Vincent Russell, Loukas Athanasiadis, Anastasia Konsta, Nikolaos K. Fountoulakis, Dan Stein, Michael Berk, Olivia Dean, Rajiv Tandon, Siegfried Kasper, Marc De Hert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. The aim of the current study was to explore the effect of gender, age at onset, and duration on the long-term course of schizophrenia. Methods. Twenty-nine centers from 25 countries representing all continents participated in the study that included 2358 patients aged 37.21 ± 11.87 years with a DSM-IV or DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia; the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale as well as relevant clinicodemographic data were gathered. Analysis of variance and analysis of covariance were used, and the methodology corrected for the presence of potentially confounding effects. Results. There was a 3-year later age at onset for females (P < .001) and lower rates of negative symptoms (P < .01) and higher depression/ anxiety measures (P < .05) at some stages. The age at onset manifested a distribution with a single peak for both genders with a tendency of patients with younger onset having slower advancement through illness stages (P = .001). No significant effects were found concerning duration of illness. Discussion. Our results confirmed a later onset and a possibly more benign course and outcome in females. Age at onset manifested a single peak in both genders, and surprisingly, earlier onset was related to a slower progression of the illness. No effect of duration has been detected. These results are partially in accord with the literature, but they also differ as a consequence of the different starting point of our methodology (a novel staging model), which in our opinion precluded the impact of confounding effects. Future research should focus on the therapeutic policy and implications of these results in more representative samples.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)716-723
Number of pages8
JournalCNS Spectrums
Issue number6
StatePublished - 9 Dec 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Gender
  • age at onset
  • duration
  • long-term course
  • outcome
  • schizophrenia


Dive into the research topics of 'Gender, age at onset, and duration of being ill as predictors for the long-term course and outcome of schizophrenia: an international multicenter study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this