News: Why is schizophrenia on the rise in Canada?

According to a Canadian study published in the journal Psychiatry Research, cases of schizophrenia are on the rise in Canada,

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According to a Canadian study published in the journal Psychiatry Research, cases of schizophrenia are on the rise in Canada, and the rate of illness is already significantly higher than the average for the rest of the world.

The study’s author, Marie-José Dealberto, a Queen’s University psychiatrist, analyzed a series of smaller studies to come up with a country average, and found 3.86 of every 1,000 Canadians to be suffering from schizophrenia, while the global rate outside of Canada is just 2.55 per 1,000 people. (No other conclusive national statistics on the prevalence of schizophrenia in Canada currently exist).

The explanations behind the study’s results are somewhat surprising. One theory suggests that schizophrenia is linked to a deficiency in vitamin D. (According to a recent report from Statistics Canada, vitamin D blood levels have declined among Canadians in the last two years.) A second theory points to Canada’s large population of immigrants as a contributing factor. Undergoing such a major life change, while also possibly being subject to racism and other forms of discrimination is a risk factor for the illness, Dr. Kwame McKenzie, a schizophrenia expert at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, told the National Post.

Are you surprised by the results of this study?

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