Aim: The aim of our study was to investigate the frequency of the ischemic and proarrhythmic
electrocardiographic (ECG) changes in schizophrenia patients compared to normal healthy population.
Methods: This study was planned retrospectively. ECG documents were obtained from the first day of
admission to patients' psychiatric clinic. The study involved 190 hospitalized schizophrenia patients and
134 healthy controls. The rhythm of the patient, presence of channelopathy, hypertrophy findings of
cardiac cavities, conduction defects, ischemic changes, p-wave length, p-wave dispersion (PWD), the
presence of fragmented QRS (fQRS), QT dispersion were considered in the ECG records.
Results: The mean systolic and diastolic blood pressure were higher in the control group (p<0.001).
Smoking was more prevalent among patients with schizophrenia. The heart rate was higher in the
schizophrenia group than control group (85.5 vs 70.5 beats/min;p<0.001). QT-dispersion time was also
higher in the schizophrenia group (35 milliseconds versus 55 milliseconds; p<0.001). P-wave dispersion
time was found higher in schizophrenia group (30 to 47.50 milliseconds, p<0.001). The incidence of
fragmented QRS (fQRS) was 36.30% (n: 69) in the schizophrenic group and 7.5% (n:10) in the healthy
control group (p=0.001). Pathological Q-wave frequency was about 10 times higher in patients with
Conclusions: The proarrhythmic and ischemic electrocardiographic changes may explain the high
frequency of premature deaths seen in patients with schizophrenia. When psychiatrists evaluate
schizophrenia patients, they should be aware of these cardiac findings and should be in close contact
with cardiologists as necessary.