Lifestyle factors and the metabolic syndrome in Schizophrenia: a cross-sectional study

Posted on 2017-02-15 - 05:00
Abstract Background Cardiometabolic disease is more common in patients with schizophrenia than the general population. Aim The purpose of the study was to assess lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, in patients with schizophrenia and estimate the prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Methods This is a cross-sectional study of a representative group of outpatients with schizophrenia in Salford, UK. An interview supplemented by questionnaires was used to assess diet, physical activity, and cigarette and alcohol use. Likert scales assessed subjects’ views of diet and activity. A physical examination and relevant blood tests were conducted. Results Thirty-seven people were included in the study. 92% of men had central adiposity, as did 91.7% of women (International Diabetes Federation Definition). The mean age was 46.2 years and mean illness duration was 11.6 years. 67.6% fulfilled criteria for the metabolic syndrome. The mean number of fruit and vegetable portions per day was 2.8 ± 1.8. Over a third did not eat any fruit in a typical week. 42% reported doing no vigorous activity in a typical week. 64.9% smoked and in many cigarette use was heavy. The Likert scale showed that a high proportion of patients had insight into their unhealthy lifestyles. Conclusions Within this sample, there was a high prevalence of poor diet, smoking and inadequate exercise. Many did not follow national recommendations for dietary intake of fruit and vegetables and daily exercise. These factors probably contribute to the high prevalence of metabolic syndrome. Many had insight into their unhealthy lifestyles. Thus, there is potential for interventions to improve lifestyle factors and reduce the risk of cardiometabolic disease.


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Annals of General Psychiatry


Adrian Heald
John Pendlebury
Simon Anderson
Vinesh Narayan
Mark Guy
Martin Gibson
Peter Haddad
Mark Livingston
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