Elevated Diabetes Rate Found in Younger Schizophrenics

Study supports modification of fasting glucose monitoring protocol to include all schizophrenics

FRIDAY, April 21 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders who are in their late 30s and 40s seem to develop diabetes at a rate seen in the general population in those aged 60 to 65, and this occurs regardless of the class of antipsychotic medication they're taking, according to a study published in the April issue of Diabetes Care. The authors suggest that all such patients should have their fasting glucose monitored.

Dan Cohen, M.D., of the Centre for Mental Health Care Rijngeestgroep in Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, and colleagues studied 200 patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders (mean age 40.8., 70 percent male).

Seven percent of subjects had hyperglycemia, with impaired fasting glucose accounting for 1.5 percent and impaired glucose tolerance accounting for 5.5 percent. They also found that 14.5 percent of subjects had diabetes, with previously known diabetes accounting for 8 percent and newly diagnosed cases accounting for 6.5 percent. The researchers found no difference in the risk of diabetes based on antipsychotic monotherapy.

The prevalence of previously known diabetes in the study subjects was comparable to that of the Dutch population ages 60 to 65. "The monitoring protocol of the consensus development conference restricts fasting glucose measurement to patients treated with atypical antipsychotics," the authors note. "We suggest a modification of this consensus to extend this measurement to all patients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, irrespective of the use or type of antipsychotic drug applied."

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Rick Ansorge

Rick Ansorge

Updated on April 21, 2006

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