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Psychiatr Serv. 2003 Apr;54(4):565-7.

The impact of weight gain on quality of life among persons with schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Biostatistics, Section on Statistical Genetics and Clinical Nutrition Research Center, Suite 327 Ryals Public Health Building, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Avenue, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.


Weight gain has been associated with the use of antipsychotic medications, and research has linked obesity with reduced quality of life. This study sought to assess the impact of weight gain on persons with schizophrenia who are taking antipsychotic medications. The Psychological Well-Being Index, a measure of quality of life, was distributed to individuals with schizophrenia who belonged to mental health associations. Among 286 respondents, 56 percent gained no weight over a six-month period while taking antipsychotic medications, 19 percent gained one to ten pounds, 12 percent gained 11 to 20 pounds, and 14 percent gained more than 20 pounds. When gender and use of antipsychotics were controlled for, weight gain was related to poorer quality of life and reduced well-being and vitality. Clinicians should consider the effect of weight gain on quality of life when prescribing antipsychotics and should help patients adopt weight maintenance behaviors.

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