Persistent Low Rates of Treatment of Metabolic Risk Factors in People With Psychotic Disorders: A PHAMOUS Study

Objective: People with psychotic disorders have an increased metabolic risk and a shortened life expectancy compared to the general population. Two large studies showed that metabolic disorders were untreated in a majority of the patients. Since then, guidelines have urged monitoring of metabolic health. This study examined the course of metabolic disorders over time in people with psychotic disorders and investigated current treatment rates.

Methods: A total of 1,259 patients with psychotic disorders, as defined by the DSM-IV, from 4 Dutch mental health institutions participated in 3 yearly assessments of the Pharmacotherapy Monitoring and Outcome Survey (PHAMOUS) between 2006 and 2014. Patients’ metabolic parameters were measured, and the use of pharmacologic treatment for hypertension (systolic blood pressure 140 mm Hg and/or diastolic blood pressure 90 mm Hg), dyslipidemia (5% Systematic COronary Risk Evaluation [SCORE] risk < 10% and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol level 2.5 mmol/L or SCORE risk 10% and LDL cholesterol level 1.8 mmol/L and/or triglycerides 2.3 mmol/L), and hyperglycemia (hemoglobin A1c concentration > 7% and/or fasting glucose concentration 7.2 mmol/L) was recorded.

Results: Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program criteria, was > 50% at each assessment. On the basis of the European Society of Cardiology guidelines, pharmacotherapy for metabolic disorders was recommended for 52%–59% of the patients at each assessment. Treatment rates with antihypertensive (from 31% to 38%, P < .001) pharmacotherapy increased throughout the assessments. However, half of the patients were not treated for their metabolic risk factors while being monitored for 3 years or longer. Older patients were more likely to receive treatment, and patients who received treatment had lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations than patients not receiving the recommended treatment.

Conclusions: Metabolic risk factors are still seriously undertreated in people with psychotic disorders. Better adherence to and better implementation of guidelines about monitoring and treating metabolic disorders in psychiatry are crucial.

J Clin Psychiatry 2017;78(8):1117–1125

https://doi.org/10.4088/JCP.16m10831