The objective of this crosssectional study was to estimate the prevalence of metabolic disorders and hypertension in patients with schizophrenia and to compare prevalence between patients treated with first-generation (FGA) and second-generation (SGA) antipsychotic drugs. The study included 2270 adults with schizophrenia. Patients were assigned to an FGA or SGA stratum on the basis of current treatment. Data were collected on sociodemographic, lifestyle and clinical variables. Blood pressure, waist and hip circumference, blood glucose, triglycerides and cholesterol were measured. The primary evaluation criterion was the prevalence of a glycaemic disorder. Secondary criteria were the prevalence of dyslipidaemia, obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome. A propensity score was used to control imbalance between strata. The prevalence of glycaemic disorders was 31.1% (FGA) and 27.6% (SGA). No between-strata difference in prevalence was observed for glycaemic disorders, dyslipidaemia or metabolic syndrome. The prevalence of hypertension was higher (P=0.033) in the FGA group. The proportion of women (but not men) who were overweight or obese was higher in the SGA group (P=0.035), as was the proportion reporting weight gain of more than 5 kg (P<0.001). In an exploratory unadjusted post-hoc analysis, significantly higher frequencies of dysglycaemia (28.5 vs. 22.0%; P=0.006), low HDL cholesterol (35.3 vs. 29.7%; P=0.023) and metabolic syndrome (36.7 vs. 30.7%; P=0.021) were observed in patients taking SGAs considered to carry high metabolic risk compared with those taking low-risk agents. In conclusion, metabolic disorders are prevalent in patients with schizophrenia treated with antipsychotics and are under-diagnosed and under-treated.