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Typically, individuals with schizophrenia develop the disease in the second or third decade of life (American Psychiatric Association 2000). Although mortality rates in general, and suicide and homicide rates in particular, are higher among individuals with schizophrenia than in the general population (Hannerz et al. 2001; Hiroch et al. 2001; Joukamaam et al. 2001), many of these patients with early-onset schizophrenia are now living into older adulthood. Thus, most older adults with schizophrenia typically have had an early onset of the disease and have a chronic course of illness spanning several decades. The prevalence of schizophrenia among adults between ages 45 and 64 is approximately 0.6%, and prevalence estimates for schizophrenia among elderly individuals range from 0.1% to 0.5% (Castle and Murray 1993; Copeland et al. 1998; Keith et al. 1991).

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Table Reference Number
Table 17–1. Comparison of early-onset schizophrenia, late-onset schizophrenia, and very-late-onset schizophrenia-like psychosis

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