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J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;65 Suppl 18:27-35.

Dyslipidemia and atypical antipsychotic drugs.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Road, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


Dyslipidemia is an increasing problem in most industrialized societies and is a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). Imbalances in individual lipid components, including total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and serum triglycerides, have each been shown to contribute to this increased risk. Certain psychiatric patient populations, such as those afflicted with schizophrenia, are of particular concern. Psychiatric patients with schizophrenia are naturally at increased risk for dyslipidemia and obesity, in part due to poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, but these conditions can be exacerbated by some antipsychotic medications. Clozapine and olanzapine, for example, appear to be associated with hyperlipidemia, which may be associated with changes in body weight. Other, newer antipsychotic agents may exhibit less liability for weight gain and the development of dyslipidemia. This review is intended to briefly highlight the association between dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease, the changes in serum lipids associated with some antipsychotic agents, and how these changes in serum lipids affect the monitoring of schizophrenia patients.

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