Effects of socioeconomic status in cognition of people with schizophrenia: Results from a Latin American collaboration network with 1175 subjects

Letícia Sanguinetti Czepielewski, Luz Maria Alliende, Carmen Paz Castañeda, Mariana Castro, Salvador M. Guinjoan, Raffael Massuda, Arthur A. Berberian, Ana Olivia Fonseca, Ary Gadelha, Rodrigo Bressan, Marisa Crivelaro, Mario Louzã, Juan Undurraga, Alfonso González-Valderrama, Rubén Nachar, Rodrigo R. Nieto, Cristian Montes, Hernan Silva, Álvaro I. Langer, Carlos SchmidtRocío Mayol-Troncoso, Ana M. Díaz-Zuluaga, Johanna Valencia-Echeverry, Carlos López-Jaramillo, Rodolfo Solís-Vivanco, Francisco Reyes-Madrigal, Camilo De La Fuente-Sandoval, Nicolás A. Crossley, Clarissa S. Gama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Background Cognition heavily relies on social determinants and genetic background. Latin America comprises approximately 8% of the global population and faces unique challenges, many derived from specific demographic and socioeconomic variables, such as violence and inequality. While such factors have been described to influence mental health outcomes, no large-scale studies with Latin American population have been carried out. Therefore, we aim to describe the cognitive performance of a representative sample of Latin American individuals with schizophrenia and its relationship to clinical factors. Additionally, we aim to investigate how socioeconomic status (SES) relates to cognitive performance in patients and controls. Methods We included 1175 participants from five Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico): 864 individuals with schizophrenia and 311 unaffected subjects. All participants were part of projects that included cognitive evaluation with MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery and clinical assessments. Results Patients showed worse cognitive performance than controls across all domains. Age and diagnosis were independent predictors, indicating similar trajectories of cognitive aging for both patients and controls. The SES factors of education, parental education, and income were more related to cognition in patients than in controls. Cognition was also influenced by symptomatology. Conclusions Patients did not show evidence of accelerated cognitive aging; however, they were most impacted by a lower SES suggestive of deprived environment than controls. These findings highlight the vulnerability of cognitive capacity in individuals with psychosis in face of demographic and socioeconomic factors in low- and middle-income countries.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPsychological Medicine
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Cognition
  • low- and middle-income countries
  • schizophrenia
  • social factors


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