Background Methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) remains the most widely used effective therapeutic approach for opioid use disorders. However, there is paucity of empirical data regarding the relationship between the MMT and survival of subjects with schizophrenia. Aim The aim of this study was to examine the effect of MMT on the long-term survival of subjects with schizophrenia and a lifetime comorbid substance use disorders. Methods The charts of 277 consecutive subjects admitted in our center during a period from January 1, 2002 to February 1, 2007 were assessed. Psychiatric diagnoses have been established according to international classification of diseases and health related problems-10th edition (ICD-10). The risk of all-cause mortality was assessed by Cox proportional-hazards regression models, including time-dependent covariates. Results Out of MMT subjects, 31 (11.2%) had mental and behavioral disorders due to multiple psychoactive substance use, 5 (1.8%) had mental and behavioral disorders due to use of opioids. All of 13 (4.7%) subjects with opioid use disorders were treated. MMT has been found to be predictive of lower long-term survival, in time-independent (hazard ration [HR] = 1.88; 95%CI: 1.06-3.37; p<.05) and in time-dependent adjusted models (HR = 2.01; 95%CI: 1.21-3.60; p<.05). MMT daily dose of <120 mg (adjusted HR = 1.83; 95%CI:.95-3.54) and MMT daily dose of ≥120 mg (adjusted HR = 2.70; 95%CI:.97-7.54) were associated with less long-term survival, all compared with no lifetime MMT (p<.046). Conclusions Among subjects with schizophrenia and a lifetime comorbid substance use disorders, overall mortality was higher in those who received lifetime MMT, then in patients without MMT.
- all-cause mortality
- Cox proportional-hazard regression model
- long-term follow-up
- Methadone maintenance treatment