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Schizophr Res. 2012 Sep;140(1-3):169-74. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2012.06.040. Epub 2012 Jul 18.

Cardiovascular risk factors during second generation antipsychotic treatment are associated with increased C-reactive protein.

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  • 1Division of Mental Health and Addiction, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



Severe mental disorder and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are often associated, and inflammation is implicated in both disorders. We investigated whether there is a relationship between CVD risk factors and inflammation in schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and if second generation antipsychotics (SGA) interact.


We included 361 patients in a naturalistic cross-sectional study, 235 subjects on current SGA treatment and 126 subjects not treated with SGA as controls. Cardiovascular parameters were measured and current medication recorded. Fasting plasma levels of the following cytokines were measured: high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (sTNF-R1), osteoprotegerin (OPG), soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L), interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), von Willebrand factor (vWf) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).


In this relatively young sample of patients with a mean age of 33.3years, the following CVD risk factors were associated with elevated inflammation markers after adjusting for confounders: BMI, triglycerides and glucose with hsCRP (p=0.041-0.001), HDL-cholesterol and triglycerides with sTNF-R1 (p=0.009-0.001) and triglycerides with vWf (p=0.004). In patients treated with SGA, elevated hsCRP was significantly associated with high BMI (p=0.012), and with high glucose levels (p=0.003).


Several CVD risk factors are associated with elevated levels of inflammation markers in young patients with severe mental illness. The interaction between SGA and CVD risk factors on hsCRP levels might indicate a specific inflammatory activation related to SGA induced overweight and hyperglycemia. This suggests that hsCRP could be a valuable marker for future cardiovascular events, particularly in patients treated with SGA.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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