PublicationsEthnic differences in response to atypical antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the effect of ethnicity on the response to antipsychotic medication in patients with schizophrenia.
AIMS: To determine whether ethnicity moderates the response to antipsychotic medication in patients with schizophrenia, and whether this moderation is independent of confounders.
METHOD: We analysed 18 short-term, placebo-controlled registration trials of atypical antipsychotic medications in patients with schizophrenia (N = 3880). A two-step, random-effects, individual patient data meta-analysis was applied to establish the moderating effect of ethnicity (White versus Black) on symptom improvement according to the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) and on response, defined as >30% BPRS reduction. These analyses were corrected for baseline severity, baseline negative symptoms, age and gender. A conventional meta-analysis was performed to determine the effect size of antipsychotic treatment for each ethnic group separately.
RESULTS: In the complete data-set, 61% of patients were White, 25.6% of patients were Black and 13.4% of patients were of other ethnicities. Ethnicity did not moderate the efficacy of antipsychotic treatment: pooled β-coefficient for the interaction between treatment and ethnic group was -0.582 (95% CI -2.567 to 1.412) for mean BPRS change, with an odds ratio of 0.875 (95% CI 0.510-1.499) for response. These results were not modified by confounders.
CONCLUSIONS: Atypical antipsychotic medication is equally effective in both Black and White patients with schizophrenia. In registration trials, White and Black patients were overrepresented relative to other ethnic groups, limiting the generalisability of our findings.