August 08, 2004

Schizophrenia, the metabolic syndrome, and diabetes

Holt RIG, et al., Schizophrenia, the metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Diabetic Medicine 21, 515,523 (2004)

Diabetes has been associated with schizophrenia for over a hundred years. However, it has become increasingly problematic as many of the 2nd generation antipsychotics have been linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. This article discusses the relationship between diabetes, the metabolic syndrome (which includes low HDL [good cholesterol], high LDL [bad cholesterol], elevated triglycerides, obesity, and hypertension.) This is a review article which looked at 289 papers about this subject. The metabolic syndrome and diabetes are associated with significantly higher risk for heart disease and early death. There are hereditary factors involved in schizophrenia, metabolic syndrome and diabetes and nearly 30% of people with schizophrenia have a first degree relative with type 2 (adult onset) diabetes. There also may be psychosocial and societal factors (including poverty and poor nutrition) that have an impact on these factors. Further research needs to be done to fully uncover the mechanism behind why 2nd generation antipsychotics cause these problems and why people with schizophrenia have a higher risk for metabolic complications. Ultimately, this article makes the point that diabetes, hypertension, obesity and lipid levels need to be followed by members of the healthcare system who take care of patients with schizophrenia.

link to the article on pubmed

Author: Jacob Ballon


Maybe you already knew that “Metabolic Syndrome,” otherwise known as “Syndrome X” is not a “real” disorder. Really.

In case you’re not familiar, Metabolic Syndrome is defined as the presence of at least three of these five factors:

1) fasting glucose above 110 (above 126 is the criteria for overt diabetes)

2) high blood pressure (top number above 130 or the bottom number above 85)

3) triglycerides above 150

4) HDL cholesterol below 40 in men, and below 50 in women

5) large waist circumference (>40 inches in men, and >37 inches in women)

But all the hoopla about this scary “syndrome” is pretty much hooey, according to the Medical Powers that Be.

Posted by: Jimmy Cooper at November 27, 2006 12:59 AM

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