Persons diagnosed with schizophrenia have higher morbidity and mortality rates from cardiovascular disease, yet often have limited access to appropriate primary care screening or treatment. Metabolic disorders such as diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension are highly prevalent in populations with schizophrenia, exceeding 50% in some studies; however, there have been few published studies on treatment rates among schizophrenia patients screened for these disorders.
Methods: Using the baseline data from subjects (N=1460) recruited into the Clinical Antipsychotic Trials of Intervention Effectiveness (CATIE) schizophrenia study, we examined the point prevalence of diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension treatment at the time of enrollment for the entire cohort and those with fasting laboratory values obtained 8 or more hours since last meal.
Results: Rates of non-treatment ranged from 30.2% for diabetes, to 62.4% for hypertension, and 88.0% for dyslipidemia. Nonwhite men were more likely to be treated for DM and dyslipidemia than nonwhite women.
Conclusions: These data indicate the high likelihood that metabolic disorders are untreated in patients with schizophrenia, with particularly high rates of non-treatment for hypertension and dyslipidemia. Nonwhite women may be especially vulnerable to undertreatment of dyslipidemia and diabetes compared to nonwhite men. The findings here support the need for increased attention to basic monitoring and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in this vulnerable and often underserved psychiatric population.