The metabolic syndrome has become a focus of clinical attention due to its high prevalence in the United States (23%) and impact on cardiovascular risk, yet limited data exist on the prevalence of this syndrome among U.S. veterans with schizophrenia.
A convenience sample of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia
or schizoaffective disorder was obtained from inpatient units and outpatient clinics at Veterans Affairs
medical centers in San Diego and Los Angeles.
In this predominantly male (92.5%) sample of 80 veterans, with mean age of 49.0 years, the age-adjusted prevalence of the metabolic syndrome
was 51.2%, more than twice the age-adjusted prevalence in the general U.S. population. The female cohort was small (n
= 6), but had a greater mean body mass index
and higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome
than the male subjects.
The metabolic syndrome
is highly prevalent in this sample of patients with schizophrenia
and represents an enormous source of cardiovascular disease risk. Clinicians who treat patients with schizophrenia
should monitor for the parameters that define the metabolic syndrome
as part of the ongoing management of patients treated with antipsychotics