Antipsychotic medications are commonly used to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia. On the other hand, antipsychotic medications can cause side effects that are associated with decreased life expectancy.
The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome (MS) among schizophrenic patients.
Two hundred fifty schizophrenic patients were recruited from governmental psychiatric clinics in northern West Bank of Palestine. Blood samples were obtained and analyzed for lipid and glucose level.
The prevalence of antipsychotic combination was 50.4%. Analysis of the results showed 60.7% of patients had at least one abnormal lipid parameter. Based on WHO criteria, 27 patients (10.8%) had diabetes and 34 (13.6%) had pre-diabetes. The overall MS prevalence was 43.6%. On average, the study patients had 2.3 ± 1.3 metabolic abnormalities.
The prevalence of MS is high in schizophrenic patients. Therefore, appropriate interventional strategy for prevention, detection and treatment of these disorders among schizophrenic patients is needed.