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September 11, 2004
Study Says Risk of New-onset Diabetes From Antipsychotics is Small
A new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry reports that the risk of developing new cases of diabetes mellitus from using atypical antipsychotic medications is small. Specifically, the study (which followed 56,849 patients on atypical antipsychotics for a period of two years) concluded that "[a]lthough clozapine and olanzapine have greater diabetes risk, the attributable risk of diabetes mellitus with atypical antipsychotics is small."
These results may not be applicable to all populations; the subjects in this particular study were older, predominantly male patients in a VA hospital system.
This research follows previous reports of increased diabetes risk due to atypical antipsychotics, possibly due to weight gain or high blood sugar levels (both documented side effects). However, few of these studies looked at the risk of new-onset diabetes cases, or the overall prevalence of diabetes within a large patient population. It is also difficult to separate causal factors in such research - whether a higher incidence of diabetes in schizophrenia patients is due to atypical antipsychotic drugs, or might be caused by other factors such as unhealthy lifestyles, poorer physical health, poorer access to health care services, or even the underlying disease of schizophrenia itself.
View the new research study online at http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org - "Incidence of Newly Diagnosed Diabetes Attributable to Atypical Antipsychotic Medications" (Am J Psychiatry 161:1709-1711, Sept 2004).
Previous research about the risk of diabetes in schizophrenia patients, and the possible contribution of atypical antipsychotics:
1) Schizophrenia, the Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes (Diabetic Medicine 21, 515-523, 2004). http://www.schizophrenia.com/szresearch/archives/000827.html
2) Atypical Antipsychotics Affect Blood Glucose Levels (Schizophrenia Newsblog, June 15 2004). http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/000608.html
Specific warnings about medications that may increase blood sugar/cause weight gain, and thus contribute to diabetes risk (particularly in patients with other risk factors):
1) New Geodon Warning Issued By Pfizer (Schizophrenia Newsblog, Sept 2 2004). http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/000938.html
2) Risperdal Increases Warnings (Schizophrenia Newsblog, July 26 2004). http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/000771.html
3) Clozapine May Impair Glucose Control in Patients with Schizophrenia (Schizophrenia Newsblog, March 3 2004). http://www.schizophrenia.com/sznews/archives/000115.html
Posted by Julia at September 11, 2004 04:58 PM
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