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Can J Psychiatry. 2008 Apr;53(4):260-6.

Lifestyle characteristics of psychiatric outpatients.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Alberta.



To describe lifestyle characteristics and associated health issues among psychiatric outpatients in 3 diagnostic categories: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and anxiety and (or) depression.


A series of patients (n=182) attending 3 outpatient mental health clinics in Calgary were administered a set of items and instruments to assess: social support, dietary habits, substance use, exercise, and recreational pursuits. In addition, clinical and laboratory parameters including body mass index (BMI) and lipid and glucose levels were compared when available.


Satisfaction with social support was comparable across the 3 diagnostic categories. About two-thirds reported predominantly sedentary routine daily activities. No significant differences in fatty food intake were identified, or for other dietary habits. There were no significant differences between diagnostic groups and total cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein or low-density lipoprotein levels. According to their BMI, 74% of the entire sample could be described as overweight and 38% as obese; again, differences between the 3 diagnostic categories were not observed.


Unhealthy lifestyle issues are not restricted to any specific diagnostic group. These data identify a compelling need to develop ameliorative intervention strategies for psychiatric outpatients; however, we could not identify a basis for targeting such interventions specifically in relation to diagnosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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