Journal Title:  Annals of Clinical Psychiatry | Vol:  20 | Issue:  3 | Year:  2008   
Print ISSN:  1040-1237 | Online ISSN:  1547-3325   

Elevated Prevalence of Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Bipolar Disorder

Jess G. Fiedorowicz MD MS
Narasimha M. Palagummi MD
Valerie L. Forman-Hoffman PhD MPH
Del D. Miller PharmD MD
William G. Haynes MD

pages: 131 - 137


Background . Bipolar disorder is associated with excess cardiovascular mortality. We hypothesized outpatients with bipolar disorder would exhibit excess cardiovascular risk factors, particularly among prevalent users of the second-generation antipsychotics associated with weight gain and valproic acid derivatives.

Methods . This chart review of 217 patients with bipolar disorder examined cardiovascular risk factors of the metabolic syndrome. We also evaluated if certain medications were cross-sectionally associated with metabolic syndrome.

Results . Fifty-six patients were not weighed and many did not have available lipid profiles. Over three-quarters of those with available data (n = 161) were overweight or obese (body mass index ≥ 25) and nearly half were obese (body mass index ≥ 30). A prevalence exceeding general population estimates was also observed for hypertriglyceridemia, elevated blood pressure/hypertension, and elevated fasting glucose/diabetes. Among those with all requisite data (n = 60), over 50% met criteria for National Cholesterol Education Program-defined metabolic syndrome, nearly double the expected prevalence. A trend toward greater prevalence of metabolic syndrome among prevalent users of the second-generation antipsychotics associated with weight gain was observed.

Conclusions . Obesity and the metabolic syndrome were common in patients with bipolar disorder. These patients may be under-evaluated for cardiovascular risk and warrant screening and early intervention.