Monitoring and management of metabolic risk factors in outpatients taking antipsychotic drugs: a controlled study

Can J Psychiatry. 2008 Jan;53(1):34-42. doi: 10.1177/070674370805300106.


Objective: To evaluate the screening, monitoring, and management of metabolic risk factors and diseases in long-term antipsychotic users in relation to current practice guidelines and current standards of care as represented by a control group from an HIV clinic.

Methods: We undertook a retrospective chart review of mental health clinic outpatients taking antipsychotic drugs long-term (cases) and HIV outpatients prescribed highly active antiretroviral therapy (control subjects).

Results: We included 99 mental health clinic patients and 98 HIV patients in the analysis. According to information available in the outpatient clinic chart, the 10-year coronary artery disease risk was computable for 28% of the mental health clinic patients (mean risk 11.9%) and for 90% of the HIV patients (mean risk 9.5%) (chi2 = 77.0, P < 0.001). Metabolic risk factors were less frequently documented in mental health clinic charts. All HIV clinic patients were screened for hypertension and diabetes, and 90% were screened for dyslipidemia, whereas this information was missing for 30%, 39%, and 60% of mental health clinic patients, respectively (P < 0.001 for all). Disease monitoring was also more comprehensive in HIV clinic charts (for example, 100% of HIV patients were monitored for lipids, compared with 71% of mental health clinic patients; P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Improved efforts are needed in the somatic care of patients with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotics, given that they typically have moderate-to-high risk for metabolic diseases.

Publication types

  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bipolar Disorder / drug therapy*
  • Bipolar Disorder / epidemiology
  • Coronary Artery Disease / chemically induced*
  • Coronary Artery Disease / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / chemically induced*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias / chemically induced
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology


  • Antipsychotic Agents