Association of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder With Increased Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome

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Abstract

Objective:

Few studies have compared prevalence rates of metabolic abnormalities in antipsychotic-treated patients with different psychiatric disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this study, we examined components of metabolic syndrome among middle-aged and older patients with psychiatric disorders.

Method:

In the study, 203 outpatients older than 40 years and with psychotic symptoms that needed antipsychotic treatment were enrolled. Among them, 65 had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, 56 had dementia, 49 had mood disorder, and 33 had PTSD. Clinical evaluations included medical history, use of psychotropic and other medications, adverse effects, physical examination, and clinical laboratory tests for metabolic profiles.

Results:

Overall, the prevalence rates of metabolic syndrome were 72% in patients with PTSD, 60% in those with schizophrenia, 58% in those with mood disorder, and 56% in those with dementia. There were significant differences in body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, waist circumference, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol among the 4 diagnostic groups. Posttraumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, and mood disorder groups had significantly higher body mass indexes compared with the dementia group. The PTSD group also had significantly higher diastolic blood pressure compared with the dementia and mood disorder groups.

Conclusions:

Posttraumatic stress disorder may be associated with worsened metabolic profile. The overall frequency of metabolic syndrome and its components in patients with PTSD taking antipsychotics seemed to be at least equivalent, if not slightly worse, compared with that in patients with schizophrenia, dementia, or a mood disorder.

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