Journal Article
Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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Elevated prevalence of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular risk factors in bipolar disorder.

BACKGROUND: Bipolar disorder is associated with excess cardiovascular mortality. We hypothesized outpatients with bipolar disorder would exhibit excess cardiovascular risk factors, particularly among prevalent users of the second-generation antipsychotics associated with weight gain and valproic acid derivatives.

METHODS: This chart review of 217 patients with bipolar disorder examined cardiovascular risk factors of the metabolic syndrome. We also evaluated if certain medications were cross-sectionally associated with metabolic syndrome.

RESULTS: Fifty-six patients were not weighed and many did not have available lipid profiles. Over three-quarters of those with available data (n = 161) were overweight or obese (body mass index >or= 25) and nearly half were obese (body mass index >or= 30). A prevalence exceeding general population estimates was also observed for hypertriglyceridemia, elevated blood pressure/hypertension, and elevated fasting glucose/diabetes. Among those with all requisite data (n = 60), over 50% met criteria for National Cholesterol Education Program-defined metabolic syndrome, nearly double the expected prevalence. A trend toward greater prevalence of metabolic syndrome among prevalent users of the second-generation antipsychotics associated with weight gain was observed.

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity and the metabolic syndrome were common in patients with bipolar disorder. These patients may be under-evaluated for cardiovascular risk and warrant screening and early intervention.

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