Relative risk of diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension and the metabolic syndrome in people with severe mental illnesses: Systematic review and metaanalysis

Department of Mental Health Sciences, (Royal Free Campus), University College London Medical School, Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF, UK.
BMC Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 2.21). 10/2008; 8(1):84. DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-8-84
Source: PubMed


Severe mental illnesses (SMI) may be independently associated with cardiovascular risk factors and the metabolic syndrome. We aimed to systematically assess studies that compared diabetes, dyslipidaemia, hypertension and metabolic syndrome in people with and without SMI.
We systematically searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL & PsycINFO. We hand searched reference lists of key articles. We employed three search main themes: SMI, cardiovascular disease, and each cardiovascular risk factor. We selected cross-sectional, case control, cohort or intervention studies comparing one or more risk factor in both SMI and a reference group. We excluded studies without any reference group. We extracted data on: study design, cardiovascular risk factor(s) and their measurement, diagnosis of SMI, study setting, sampling method, nature of comparison group and data on key risk factors.
Of 14592 citations, 134 papers met criteria and 36 were finally included. 26 reported on diabetes, 12 hypertension, 11 dyslipidaemia, and 4 metabolic syndrome. Most studies were cross sectional, small and several lacked comparison data suitable for extraction. Meta-analysis was possible for diabetes, cholesterol and hypertension; revealing a pooled risk ratio of 1.70 (1.21 to 2.37) for diabetes and 1.11 (0.91 to 1.35) of hypertension. Restricting SMI to schizophreniform illnesses yielded a pooled risk ratio for diabetes of 1.87 (1.68 to 2.09). Total cholesterol was not higher in people with SMI (Standardized Mean Difference -0.10 (-0.55 to 0.36)) and there were inconsistent data on HDL, LDL and triglycerides with some, but not all, reporting lower levels of HDL cholesterol and raised triglyceride levels. Metabolic syndrome appeared more common in SMI.
Diabetes (but not hypertension) is more common in SMI. Data on other risk factors were limited by poor quality or inconsistent research findings, but a small number of studies show greater prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in SMI.

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Available from: David Osborn, Jul 24, 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Background. True findings about schizophrenia remain elusive; many findings are not replicated and conflicting results are common. Well-conducted systematic reviews have the ability to make robust, generalizable conclusions, with good meta-analyses potentially providing the closest estimate of the true effect size. In this paper, we undertake a systematic approach to synthesising the available evidence from well-conducted systematic reviews on schizophrenia. Method. Reviews were identified by searching Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, Current Contents and PsycINFO. The decision to include or exclude reviews, data extraction and quality assessments were conducted in duplicate. Evidence was graded as high quality if reviews contained large samples and robust results; and as moderate quality if reviews contained imprecision, inconsistency, smaller samples or study designs that may be prone to bias. Results. High- and moderate-quality evidence shows that numerous psychosocial and biomedical treatments are effective. Patients have relatively poor cognitive functioning, and subtle, but diverse, structural brain alterations, altered electrophysiological functioning and sleep patterns, minor physical anomalies, neurological soft signs, and sensory alterations. There are markers of infection, inflammation or altered immunological parameters; and there is increased mortality from a range of causes. Risk for schizophrenia is increased with cannabis use, pregnancy and birth complications, prenatal exposure to Toxoplasma gondii, childhood central nervous system viral infections, childhood adversities, urbanicity and immigration (first and second generation), particularly in certain ethnic groups. Developmental motor delays and lower intelligence quotient in childhood and adolescence are apparent. Conclusions. We conclude that while our knowledge of schizophrenia is very substantial, our understanding of it remains limited.
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