Schizophrenia “hotspots” are identified by academics

A map of England which identifies those areas with the highest concentrations of people suffering with psychotic conditions poses a number of questions, researchers have said.

The data was pieced together by a team of experts at the University of East London (UEL), who based their calculations on the levels of medication being prescribed by GPs.

According to the analysis, North Kesteven, in Lincolnshire, was the No 1 hotspot nationwide for conditions such as schizophrenia.

The district has 39 schizophrenia prescriptions for every 1,000 residents. This compares with a national average of 19.

Other hotspots identified apparently include Coventry, Rochdale, Cambridge and Hastings.

By contrast, the fewest subscriptions were handed out in regions including East Dorset and York.

Academics have pointed out that the profile of the country isn’t infallible as it only incorporates prescriptions made out by family doctors and not those patients who receive hospital treatment.

Prof Allan Brimicombe, a member of the research team at UEL, said: “The pattern is not uniformly spread across the country.”

“This raises questions that we can’t yet answer, but it helps us raise the question.

“In each of these areas of high prescriptions there may be a different set of drivers that are leading to this situation.”

It has been suggested that various environmental factors – which may increase the risk of a psychotic condition, for instance greater levels of alcohol or drug abuse – may explain the prevailing trends.