Schizophrenia is associated with high cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. The reasons for this are complex, involving schizophrenia-related factors, poverty, an unhealthy lifestyle, suboptimal medical monitoring and care, and adverse effects of treatment.
Further insights are provided by an analysis of 394 patients with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Despite their young age (mean 24 years) and short duration of antipsychotic treatment (mean 47 days), these patients had a high prevalence of dyslipidaemia (56.5%), smoking (50.8%), being overweight or obese (48.3%), prehypertension (39.9%), metabolic syndrome (13.2%) and hypertension (10.0%).
“Clinicians need to pay much more attention to promoting physical health in people with severe mental illness,” write lead author Christoph Correll, from The Zucker Hillside Hospital, New York, and colleagues in JAMA Psychiatry
(online, 8 October 2014).