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Metabolic syndrome and psychiatrists' choice of follow-up interventions in patients treated with atypical antipsychotics in Denmark and Sweden

Informa Healthcare
Publication Date
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Interventions
  • Prevalence
  • Schizophrenia
  • Medicine And Health Sciences
  • History
  • Medicine


Introduction: The aim of the present study was to obtain point prevalence estimates of the metabolic syndrome according to the NCEP III criteria in a sample of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders treated with atypical antipsychotic drugs in Denmark and Sweden, and to assess the psychiatrists' choice of recommendations for follow-up interventions based on the patients' laboratory results. Method: This was a cross-sectional, observational multi-center study in Denmark and Sweden, in consecutively screened in- and outpatients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and continuously treated for at least 3 months with atypical antipsychotic drugs. Results: The metabolic syndrome as per medical history was present in 1% of 582 evaluable patients at baseline. After performing laboratory measurements and applying the NCEP III criteria, metabolic syndrome was confirmed in 43% of subjects. The high rate of metabolic syndrome did not elicit much decisive action on the part of the treating psychiatrists; the most frequent action taken was dietary and exercise advice (in 75% of subjects), while in 54% and 19% of subjects a laboratory follow-up and blood pressure follow-up were advised respectively. Change of antipsychotic medication was recommended in only 10% of patients, and in further 11% of patients, no action was taken. Conclusion: Observed metabolic syndrome prevalence rates were at least twice the rates observed in a normal, non-diabetic population. It appears that in this vulnerable population of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, metabolic syndrome remains underdiagnosed and undertreated.

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