Objective: Prevalence of cardiovascular disease is high in schizophrenia. Our aim is to estimate the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors (CVRF) among schizophrenia patients.
Method: National cross-sectional study in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia under treatment with second generation antipsychotics and admitted to short-stay hospitalisation units.
Results: A sample of 733 consecutively admitted patients was enrolled; the most prevalent CVRFs were smoking 71% (95% CI: 67-74%) and hypercholesterolemia 66% (61-70%) followed by hypertriglyceridemia 26% (26-32%), hypertension 18% (15-21%) and diabetes 5% (4-7%). Metabolic syndrome showed 19% (95% CI: 16-23%) prevalence or, according to updated definitions (Clin Cornerstone 7  36-45), 24% (95% CI: 20-28%). The rate of patients within the high-risk range of a 10-year fatal cardiovascular event was 6.5%. CVRFs under routine management were diabetes (60%), hypertension (28%) and, to a lesser extent, dyslipemia (14%). Treatment for CVRFs was associated to gender, men for hypertension OR = 25.34, p < 0.03 and women for diabetes OR = 0.02, p < 0.03.
Conclusion: We found that CVRFs in schizophrenia were prevalent and under-diagnosed, and thus with insufficient therapeutic management.