Cardiometabolic risk factors in people with psychotic disorders: the second Australian national survey of psychosis

Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2012 Aug;46(8):753-61. doi: 10.1177/0004867412453089. Epub 2012 Jul 3.


Objective: To determine the prevalence of cardiometabolic risk factors in Australian adults with a psychotic disorder.

Method: Data were collected during the interview phase of the second Australian survey of psychosis, a population-based survey of Australians aged 18 to 64 years with a psychotic disorder. Body mass index, waist circumference and blood pressure were measured. Participants were asked about diagnoses of relevant medical conditions, medications, smoking and physical activity. Fasting blood samples were analysed for glucose, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglycerides. The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was determined using the harmonized criteria developed by the International Diabetes Federation and other bodies.

Results: A total of 1087 men (60%) and 738 women (40%) participated. Their mean age was 38.36 (SD 11.16) years; 773 (42%) were aged 18-34 years and 1052 (58%) 35-64 years. Three-quarters were overweight or obese and 82% had abdominal obesity. Almost half were hypertensive. Two-thirds were current smokers and 81% had a lifetime history of smoking. Levels of physical activity were very low. About 30% reported a diagnosis of hypertension or high cholesterol, 20% knew they had diabetes or high blood sugar and 18% had cardiovascular disease. Half of those with self-reported hypertension were taking antihypertensive drugs, and about 40% with hypercholesterolemia or hyperglycaemia were receiving medication for these conditions. Seventy per cent (N = 1286) of participants provided fasting blood samples. Abnormal levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides were each found in almost half of participants and almost one-third had elevated fasting glucose. More than half of participants (54.8%) met criteria for metabolic syndrome.

Conclusions: Australians living with psychosis have high rates of cardiometabolic risk factors. There are a number of obvious targets for prevention and treatment, including obesity (especially in women), smoking (more prevalent in men), hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and sedentary lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Blood Glucose
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Metabolic Syndrome* / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity
  • Prevalence
  • Psychotic Disorders* / complications
  • Psychotic Disorders* / epidemiology
  • Psychotic Disorders* / metabolism
  • Psychotic Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Waist Circumference


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lipids