Increased prevalence of obesity and glucose intolerance in youth treated with second-generation antipsychotic medications

Can J Psychiatry. 2009 Nov;54(11):743-9. doi: 10.1177/070674370905401104.


Objective: To compare the rates of obesity, impaired fasting glucose (IFG), and type 2 diabetes between second-generation antipsychotic (SGA)-treated and -naive youth.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted for all child and adolescent psychiatry emergency admissions over 2.5 years. Data collected included age, sex, psychiatric diagnosis, medications, height, weight, fasting glucose, and lipid profile. Body mass index (BMI) was standardized for age and sex and converted to a z score. Overweight was defined as a BMI between the 85th and 95th percentile and obese as a BMI at the 95th percentile or greater for age and sex. The 2007 American Diabetes Association criteria for IFG and type 2 diabetes were used.

Results: Among the 432 admissions, 167 (39%) had both height and weight measured, and 145 (34%) had fasting glucose measured. The mean zBMI was higher in the SGA-treated (n = 68), compared with the SGA-naive group (n = 99) (mean difference 0.81; 95% CI 0.46 to 1.16). In the SGA-treated group, 31% were obese and 26% were overweight, compared with 15% and 8%, respectively, in the SGA-naive group (P < 0.01). In the SGA-treated group (n = 65), 21.5% had IFG or type 2 diabetes, compared with 7.5% in the SGA-naive group (n = 80) (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Youth treated with SGAs have significantly higher rates of obesity and glucose intolerance than SGA-naive youth. These data emphasize the need for consistent metabolic monitoring of youth with psychiatric disorders who are prescribed SGAs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antipsychotic Agents / adverse effects*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Body Mass Index
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / chemically induced
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / epidemiology
  • Dyslipidemias / chemically induced
  • Dyslipidemias / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Glucose Intolerance / chemically induced*
  • Glucose Intolerance / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / chemically induced
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy
  • Obesity / chemically induced*
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Antipsychotic Agents