Prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its association with depression in patients with schizophrenia

Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2013;9:941-6. doi: 10.2147/NDT.S47450. Epub 2013 Jul 9.


Purpose: To identify the point prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia and to evaluate the association between depressive symptoms and metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia.

Patients and methods: Metabolic syndrome was assessed based on an updated definition derived from the modified National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP-ATP III) and the International Diabetes Federation criteria. The 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) was used to measure depressive symptoms in 80 patients with schizophrenia. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using logistic regression for the association between each depressive symptom and metabolic syndrome.

Results: The point prevalence rates of metabolic syndrome according to the modified NCEP-ATP III and International Diabetes Federation criteria were 37% and 35%, respectively. The risk of having metabolic syndrome significantly increased in those who were widowed or separated, or had longer duration of illness. Central obesity was the metabolic feature with the highest odds ratios for metabolic syndrome at 19.3. Three out of 17 items of HDRS subscales were found to be significantly associated with metabolic syndrome, including depressed mood, middle insomnia, and retardation with the odds ratios of 3.0, 3.4, and 3.6, respectively.

Conclusion: This study showed that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia was higher than the overall rate but was slightly lower than in the general population in the USA. Central obesity, measured by waist circumference, was found to be highly correlated with metabolic syndrome. Depressed mood, middle insomnia, and retardation were significantly associated with metabolic syndrome in patients with schizophrenia. Waist circumference and screening for depression should be done at the clinics during patient follow-up.

Keywords: central obesity; dyslipidemia; hyperglycemia; hypertension; mood symptoms.