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Br J Psychiatry. 2003 Dec;183:534-9.

Diet, smoking and cardiovascular risk in people with schizophrenia: descriptive study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Research, Crichton Royal Hospital, Dumfries DG1 4TG, UK.



Physical health of people with schizophrenia is poor and they die early from cardiovascular disease.


To describe the lifestyle of people with schizophrenia through diet, smoking habits, weight and exercise, and to report risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).


Dietary habits of 102 community-dwelling people with schizophrenia were assessed by the Scottish Health Survey Questionnaire. Also assessed were smoking habits, physical activity, biochemical indices of nutrition and future risk of CHD.


Fewer males, compared with the general population, reached acceptable levels for consumption of fruit, vegetables, milk, potatoes and pulses. Fewer females reached the levels for consumption of milk and potatoes. Mean number of fruit and vegetable portions consumed per week was 16 (s.d.=14); 71 (70%) were smokers; 25 (86%) females and 50 (70%) males were over weight or obese; 59 (59%) considered themselves physically active; 46 (53%) had a raised cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein ratio, and 64 (74%) a low alpha-tocopherol: cholesterol ratio. Mean 10-year risk of CHD in males was 10.5% (s.d.=8) and in females 7% (s.d.=6).


The lifestyle of people with schizophrenia must give cause for concern in relation to CHD. Care from concern in relation to secondary care services must address physical as well as mental health.

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