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Medical Risk in Patients With Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia

John W. Newcomer, M.D.


Patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are vulnerable to developing key modifiable risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as obesity, smoking, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition, mood stabilizers, anticonvulsants, and antipsychotic medications, which are commonly used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, have been linked to risk for adverse metabolic changes in patients. This review reports the prevalence of medical risk factors in the general population as well as in those patients with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and discusses treatment strategies and lifestyle changes that patients can make in order to reduce their risks for certain diseases.

(J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67[11]:e16)


From the Department of Psychiatry, Psychology and Medicine, and the Center for Clinical Studies, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Mo.