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Psychiatr Serv. 2006 Aug;57(8):1145-52.

Treatment of cardiac risk factors among patients with schizophrenia and diabetes.

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Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, 02114, USA.



The appropriateness and effectiveness of the outpatient medical management of cardiac risk factors for patients with diabetes who had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or a related psychotic syndrome were examined.


In a cross-sectional analysis of 4,236 patients with diabetes, ICD-9 billing codes were used to identify 214 patients with schizophrenia or a schizophrenia-related syndrome. Measures of treatment appropriateness and effectiveness for the management of cardiac risk factors (control of blood sugar, blood pressure, and lipids) were assessed for this group and compared with measures from patients with diabetes but no severe mental illness (N = 3,594). Odds ratios were adjusted for between-group differences in gender, race, age, and clinic setting.


There were no statistically significant between-group differences on any of the five measures of treatment appropriateness, indicating that patients with schizophrenia received a similar regimen of medical treatment for cardiac factors. However, two of the seven measures of treatment effectiveness indicated significant deficiencies, with fewer patients with schizophrenia meeting the clinical quality benchmarks for cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein control. This disparity may have been caused by factors other than the measured treatment appropriateness variables, including the prescription of older lipid-lowering agents and a higher rate of missed appointments in the group with schizophrenia.


Effective lipid control may be more difficult to attain for at least some patients with schizophrenia. Given that population's high rates of cardiovascular mortality, additional research to clarify the barriers to effective lipid management is essential.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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