To determine the prevalence and incidence of metabolic syndrome in individuals with a first episode of severe mental illness from South Africa.Methods:
Antipsychotic naïve study subjects with a first episode of severe mental illness and control subjects were recruited at baseline for a prospective study. Individuals without metabolic syndrome at baseline were followed up for 12 months after antipsychotic medication was initiated. Metabolic syndrome was determined at baseline and at the 12-month follow-up using the Joint Interim Statement criteria.Results:
At baseline, the 67 study (M:F; 48:19) and 67 control subjects (M:F; 48:19) had a mean age of 22.8 (±3.7) and 23.3 (±2.6) years (P = .4), respectively. The majority were of black African ethnicity (97%) and 82% were diagnosed with schizophrenia. There was no difference in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (4.5%) or any of the individual components between the study and control group prior to the initiation of antipsychotics. Of the 64 study subjects without metabolic syndrome at baseline, only 36 (M:F; 25:11) completed the 12-month follow-up (response rate 56.3%) and 2 subjects developed metabolic syndrome. The incidence of metabolic syndrome was 5.5% with a significant increase in the elevated waist circumference criterion after 1 year of antipsychotic treatment (P = .02).Conclusions:
There was a low prevalence and incidence of metabolic syndrome in this group of patients with a first episode of severe mental illness.