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Psychosomatics. 2013 Jan-Feb;54(1):67-73. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2012.03.001. Epub 2012 Jun 2.

Obese schizophrenia spectrum patients have significantly higher 10-year general cardiovascular risk and vascular ages than obese individuals without severe mental illness.

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  • 1Dept. of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06519-1109, USA.



Individuals with schizophrenia have a life expectancy that is 20 years less than the general population, along with high rates of obesity and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality.


This study assessed the 10-year general CVD risk and vascular ages of 106 obese schizophrenia spectrum patients and 197 demographically matched obese controls without severe mental illness (SMI) from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).


Vascular age and general CVD risk were calculated using the Framingham global CVD calculator, which incorporates age, sex, total and HDL cholesterol levels, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, and diabetes or hypertension treatment.


Obese schizophrenia spectrum patients had a mean vascular age that was 14.1 years older than their mean actual age, whereas obese NHANES participants had only a 6.7-year difference. The probability of experiencing a CVD event within the next 10 years was 10.7% for obese patients and 8.5% for obese NHANES participants.


These findings suggest that schizophrenia spectrum patients experience increased metabolic risk independent of weight. Primary care clinicians can utilize general CVD risk and vascular age scores to communicate metabolic risk more easily and to help make treatment decisions.

Copyright © 2013 The Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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