The risk for cancer among patients with schizoaffective disorders

Itzhak Levav, Robert Kohn, Micha Barchana, Irena Lipshitz, Inna Pugachova, Abraham Weizman, Alexander Grinshpoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Several epidemiological studies explored the risk for cancer among both persons with schizophrenia and their first-degree relatives, and among patients with bipolar disorder. No studies have yet explored the risk among persons with schizoaffective disorders. Method: Linkage analysis was conducted based on the psychiatric and the cancer national databases. Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) for aggregated cancer sites were calculated by comparing the incidence rates among patients in the psychiatric case register with schizoaffective disorders with the incidence rates in the Jewish-Israeli general population. Results: No significant alteration in cancer risk was found for both genders: males, SIR = 1.11, 95% CI (0.48-1.73) and females, SIR = 1.38, 95% CI (0.96-1.80). Limitations: Our sample was derived from patients with a history of psychiatric hospitalization. Putative factors such as diet, smoking and medications were not investigated. Conclusions: Our study showed no significant increase in the risk for cancer in schizoaffective disorders. Those results appear to be positioned between the schizophrenia findings that show a lower risk for cancer and the bipolar disorder findings that show an increased risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-320
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Epidemiology
  • Israel
  • Schizoaffective disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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