The Prevalence of Tardive Dyskinesia

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A total of 2250 subjects from psychiatric and geriatric settings was examined for abnormal involuntary movements by the same team of trained raters employing a standard examination technique and rating scale. “Spontaneous” dyskinesia rates were 1.3% among 400 healthy elderly people surveyed at senior citizens centers, 4.8% among medical geriatric inpatients and ranged from 0 to 2% among psychiatric patients never exposed to neuroleptics. For samples of neuroleptic-treated patients, prevalence rates ranged from 13.3% among patients at a voluntary psychiatric hospital to 36.1% among state hospital patients. Logistic regression analyses revealed a large effect of age on tardive dyskinesia prevalence and an interaction of age with sex. Among younger subjects, men had higher rates; among subjects over age 40, rates were higher for women. Edentulousness and presence of other neurological disorders were possible contributors to high rates for the elderly. Even with control for age, sex and duration of neuroleptic exposure, prevalence differed markedly across study site.

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