Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Patients With Schizophrenia

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Background: Metabolic syndrome, a constellation of truncal obesity, dyslipidemia, disturbed insulin and glucose metabolism, and hypertension, is associated with the development of diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease. However, the prevalence of metabolic syndrome in Hispanic patients with schizophrenia and whether they differ from comparable non-Hispanic patients is uncertain.

Method: This cross-sectional study, conducted from January 2002 to May 2002, included 48 patients with schizophrenia who were recruited from an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Metabolic syndrome was defined using the criteria of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults.

Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome was 63% in all patients with schizophrenia. The metabolic syndrome was present in 41% of non-Hispanic patients and in 74% of Hispanic patients with schizophrenia. Metabolic syndrome was present in 70% of Cuban Americans and 88% of other Hispanic subgroups with schizophrenia. Metabolic syndrome was associated with waist circumference (p < .05) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < .05) in logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions: These data suggest that schizophrenic patients have a 3-fold greater risk to develop metabolic syndrome than the general population. Hispanic schizophrenic patients have a significantly greater prevalence of metabolic syndrome than non-Hispanic schizophrenic patients (p < .05). An increased waist circumference is the strongest clinical correlate with metabolic syndrome in schizophrenic patients.

Prim Care Companion J Clin Psychiatry 2004;6(2):74-77