Objective Although catatonia can occur secondary to a general medical condition, catatonia itself has been known to lead to various medical compolications. Although case reports on the association of catatonia with subsequent medical complications have been documented, no comprehensive large-scale study has been performed. To investigate specific medical complications after catatonia, we conducted a retrospective cohort study of specific medical complications of schizophrenia patients with catatonia. Methods The 1719 schizophrenia inpatients in our study were categorized into two groups: the catatonia group, i.e., those who exhibited catatonic stupor while they were hospitalized, and the noncatatonia group, i.e., those who never exhibited catatonic stupor. Differences between the two groups in the occurrence of subsequent medical complications were examined using linear and logistic regression analyses, and models were adjusted for potentially confounding factors. Results The catatonia group had an increased risk for mortality (odds ratio = 4.8, 95% confidence interval = 2.0-10.6, p <.01) and certain specific medical complications, i.e., pneumonia, urinary tract infection, sepsis, disseminated intravascular coagulation, rhabdomyolysis, dehydration, deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, urinary retention, decubitus, arrhythmia, renal failure, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, hypernatremia, and liver dysfunction (all p values <.01, except for deep venous thrombosis, p =.04 in the multiple linear regression analysis). Conclusions Catatonic stupor in schizophrenia substantially raises the risk for specific medical complications and mortality. Hyperactivity of the sympathetic nervous system, dehydration, and immobility, which are frequently involved in catatonia, might contribute to these specific medical complications. In catatonia, meticulous care for both mental and medical conditions should be taken to reduce the risk of adverse medical consequences.
ASJC Scopus subject areas