Immunological hypotheses have become increasingly prominent suggesting that autoimmunity may be involved in the pathogenesis of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia was found to be associated with a wide range of autoimmune diseases. However, the association between pemphigus and schizophrenia has not been established yet. We aimed to estimate the association between pemphigus and schizophrenia using a large-scale real-life computerised database.
This study was conducted as a cross-sectional study utilising the database of Clalit Health Services. The proportion of schizophrenia was compared between patients diagnosed with pemphigus and age-, gender- and ethnicity-matched control subjects. Univariate analysis was performed using χ
2 and Student's t-test and a multivariate analysis was performed using a logistic regression model.
A total of 1985 pemphigus patients and 9874 controls were included in the study. The prevalence of schizophrenia was greater in patients with pemphigus as compared to the control group (2.0% v. 1.3%, respectively; p = 0.019). In a multivariate analysis, pemphigus was significantly associated with schizophrenia (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1–2.2). The association was more prominent among females, patients older than 60 years, and Jews.
Pemphigus is significantly associated with schizophrenia. Physicians treating patients with pemphigus should be aware of this possible association. Patients with pemphigus should be carefully assessed for comorbid schizophrenia and be treated appropriately.