Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in Bipolar Patients
J Clin Psychiatry 2000;61(3):179-184
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Background: Patients who receive pharmacologic
treatment for bipolar illness frequently gain weight. This study
evaluated the prevalence of overweight and obesity in an
unselected group of bipolar patients and matched reference
Method: The prevalence of overweight, obesity,
and central adiposity was evaluated in 89 euthymic bipolar
(DSM-IV) patients and 445 reference subjects, matched for age and
sex, using a cross-sectional study design.
Results: Female patients were more often
overweight and obese than female reference subjects (chi2 = 9.18, df = 2, p = .01). The frequency of overweight was
similar in male patients and male reference subjects, but male
patients were more likely to be obese. Patients were more
centrally obese than the general population in women (chi2 = 32.21, df = 1, p = 2 =
8.81, df = 1, p = .003). Patients treated with antipsychotic
drugs were more obese than patients not receiving these drugs
(chi2 = 4.7, df = 1, p = .03).
Conclusion: Body fat is more centrally
distributed in pharmacologically treated bipolar patients than in
matched population controls. Obesity is more prevalent in
patients than in the general population. Obesity prevalence is
clearly related to the administration of antipsychotic drugs.