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J Psychiatr Res. 2001 Nov-Dec;35(6):339-45.

Prevalence of obesity in adolescent and young adult patients with and without schizophrenia and in relationship to antipsychotic medication.

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  • 1Clinical Research Group, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Marburg, Hans-Sachs-Str. 6, 35033 Marburg, Germany.


The prevalence of obesity in inpatients of a German psychiatric rehabilitation center for adolescents and young adults (mean age 19.5 years) is assessed and set into relationship to diagnosis and medication regimen. In a cross-sectional naturalistic study body weights and heights of 151 inpatients, 109 of whom presented with ICD-10 schizophrenia spectrum disorders, were measured for the calculation of body mass indices (BMI, kg/m2); current medication regimen including the duration of treatment was assessed from medical records. BMIs were plotted into gender- and age-specific BMI-percentiles representative for the German population. Among the whole study population, obesity (BMI > or =90th percentile) was apparent in 44/98 (45%) of the male and in 31/53 (59%) of the female inpatients (overall: 50%). With respect to schizophrenia spectrum disorders, 36/70 (51%) males and 25/39 (64%) females (overall: 56%) were obese in contrast to 14/42 (33%) among the individuals without schizophrenia. Set into relationship to the treatment groups, the prevalence rates of obesity were 64% in patients treated with clozapine (n=69), 56% for other atypical antipsychotics (olanzapine, sulpiride, risperidone; n=27), 30% for classic antipsychotics (haloperidol, flupentixol, perazine; n=20) and 28% for the currently drug-free group (n=25). Together with other published findings in adults, these results suggest an increased prevalence of obesity among young patients with schizophrenia and especially among patients chronically treated with atypical antipsychotics.

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