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Prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Australians with severe mental illness

Alexander P John, Radhakrishnan Koloth, Milan Dragovic and Stephen C B Lim
Med J Aust 2009; 190 (4): 176-179.

Summary

Objective: To assess the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its association with sociodemographic, clinical and lifestyle variables among Australian patients with a variety of psychiatric disorders.

Design and setting: Cross-sectional study of patients attending a public mental health service in Western Australia between July 2005 and September 2006.

Participants: Patients who were aged 18–65 years; diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder with psychotic symptoms, drug-induced psychosis or borderline personality disorder; and currently taking at least one antipsychotic drug for a minimum of 2 weeks.

Main outcome measures: Prevalence of metabolic syndrome diagnosed with International Diabetes Federation criteria; fasting blood glucose and lipid levels; sociodemographic and lifestyle characteristics.

Results: Of 219 patients invited to participate, 203 agreed and had complete data. Prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 54% overall, and highest among patients with bipolar disorder or schizoaffective disorder (both 67%), followed by schizophrenia (51%). Sociodemographic variables, including age and ethnic background, were not significantly associated with metabolic syndrome, but a strong association was seen with mean body mass index. Other cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking and substance misuse, were common among participants.

Conclusions: Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in this population was almost double that in the general Australian population, and patients with schizophrenia had a prevalence among the highest in the developed world. Prevalence was also high in patients with a variety of other psychiatric disorders.

  • Alexander P John1
  • Radhakrishnan Koloth2
  • Milan Dragovic3
  • Stephen C B Lim2

  • 1 Mental Health, Bentley Health Service, Perth, WA.
  • 2 Armadale Mental Health Service, Armadale, WA.
  • 3 Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia, Perth, WA.


Acknowledgements: 

We acknowledge the valuable contributions of Dr Maha Boulos, Dr Rajan Iyallol, Mr Roger Au and Dr Brenda Cuk (all of Armadale Mental Health Service) to this study.

Competing interests:

Alexander John has received an unrestricted research and educational grant from Janssen-Cilag. Janssen-Cilag had no involvement in any part of this study.

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