Elevated Cardiovascular Risk in Patients With Bipolar Disorder: When Does It Start and Where Does It Lead?

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A growing number of studies have demonstrated that rates of obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, hypertension, smoking, and metabolic syndrome, all serious cardiovascular disease risk factors, as well as standardized mortality rates, are between 1.5 and 3 times greater in adults with bipolar disorder compared to the general population. Differences and similarities in prevalence rates between studies and compared to those observed in patients with schizophrenia are influenced, in part, by patient demographics, but also by the proportion of patients who receive conventional mood stabilizers, (medium to high metabolic risk) antipsychotics, or both. At the same time, studies have also shown that obesity and metabolic syndrome are associated with greater psychopathology, comorbidities, suicidality, and relapse and rehospitalization rates in adults with bipolar disorder.​

J Clin Psychiatry 2008;69(12):1948-1952