Exploring the Relationship Between Body Mass Index and Positive Symptom Severity in Persons at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

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Metabolic health and positive symptom severity has been investigated in schizophrenia, but not in clinical high risk (CHR) patients. We hypothesized that greater body mass index (BMI) in CHR patients would be related to less positive symptoms. We examined this relationship in CHR patients being treated with 1) no psychotropic medications (n = 58), 2) an antipsychotic (n = 14), or 3) an antidepressant without an antipsychotic (n = 10). We found no relationship between BMI and positive symptoms in unmedicated CHR patients, the majority of whom had a narrow BMI range between 20 and 30. However, in the smaller sample of CHR patients taking an antidepressant or antipsychotic, BMI was negatively correlated with positive symptoms. Although potentially underpowered, these preliminary findings provide initial steps in elucidating the relationships between metabolic health, neurochemistry, and symptom severity in CHR patients.

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