Affiliation: Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center PO Box 12000, Jerusalem, 91120, Israel.
Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is a debilitating side-effect of antipsychotic treatment associated with reduced compliance and quality of life. TD prevalence is difficult to estimate accurately and is influenced by the increased use of antipsychotic drugs and the aging of the population. We assessed the prevalence, severity and characteristics of TD among schizophrenia patients at a university-affiliated psychiatric center in Israel. One hundred and twenty eight patients with schizophrenia were recruited and underwent demographic and clinical assessments. Subjects who met Schooler-Kane criteria for probable TD were compared to those without TD. Forty five subjects met probable TD criteria (prevalence: 35.2%; 95% CI 26.9% -44.1 %.). Subjects with TD were older and had a longer duration of treatment with antipsychotic medications. Diabetes mellitus, hypertension, head injuries and more severe psychiatric symptomatology did not predict TD. Patients in the TD-group had higher rates of extrapyramidal symptoms (EPS) and were more likely to receive an anticholinergic agent. The type of antipsychotic medication was not found to be associated with TD occurrence. Our findings confirm the established relationships between presence of TD and age, duration of antipsychotics treatment, anticholinergic treatment and the presence of EPS. Furthermore, our data support recent findings indicating that TD is still a prevalent disorder representing an unresolved public health issue.