Monitoring and Managing Weight Gain in the Mentally Ill

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Many patients with schizophrenia and other serious mental illness also suffer from comorbid medical conditions and overall poor physical health. Physical health factors such as obesity contribute greatly to diseases (including heart disease, other cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes) that cause much of the death and disability in the United States. Other factors, including psychotropic medications, may complicate and increase obesity in patients with schizophrenia. However, research shows that patients with serious mental illness are capable of living healthier lifestyles and losing weight. It is essential that mental and physical health care providers work collaboratively to increase the health and wellness of patients with serious mental illness.

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J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68(6):e14