Metabolic Syndrome and the Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in 367 Patients Treated With Second-Generation Antipsychotic Drugs.

Objective: To examine the relationship between presence of metabolic syndrome and the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events (angina pectoris, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death) in patients treated with second-generation antipsychotic medications.

Method: 367 adults treated with second-generation antipsychotics randomly selected from consecutive psychiatric admissions to a single hospital between August 1, 2004, and March 1, 2005, underwent assessments evaluating the presence of metabolic syndrome. The 10-year risk of CHD events was calculated according to the Framingham scoring system for age, smoking, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, blood pressure, and history of diabetes and was compared in patients with and without the metabolic syndrome.

Results: Metabolic syndrome, present in 137 patients (37.3%), was associated with a significantly greater age- and race-adjusted 10-year risk of CHD events, i.e., 11.5% vs. 5.3% for men (risk ratio = 2.18, 95% CI = 1.88 to 2.48, p < .0001) and 4.5% vs. 2.3% for women (risk ratio = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.65 to 2.23, p = .0005). The increased risk of CHD events in patients with metabolic syndrome remained significant after the exclusion of diabetic patients. In a logistic regression analysis of variables independent of the Framingham scoring system, triglyceride levels (p < .0001), waist circumference (p = .035), and white race (p = .047) were significantly associated with the 10-year risk of CHD events (R2 = 0.134; p < .0001).

Conclusions: These data confirm the high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in patients receiving second-generation antipsychotics, indicate that metabolic syndrome doubles the 10-year risk of CHD events in this population, and emphasize the importance of the "hypertriglyceridemic waist" for the identification of psychiatric patients at high risk of CHD.

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(4):575-583