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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 58 (2016) 1, 61 - 66

Short report

Screening for metabolic syndrome in older patients with severe mental illness

H.W. Konz, P.D. Meesters, N.P.G. Paans, D.S. van Grootheest, H.C. Comijs, M.S. Stek, A. Dols

background Diabetes, cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome are more prevalent in older patients with severe mental illness (smi) than in healthy older persons in the same age-group as the smi patients. Compared to the general population, smi patients are often in a poorer state of (physical) health and have a shorter life expectancy.
aim To assess the value of screening older smi patients (≥ 60) for metabolic syndrome.
method We performed a prospective evaluation of the metabolic screening outcome data relating to 100 older smi patients and 124 healthy older patients and compared the results.
results In our smi patients (average age 69 years; 52% bipolar disorder, 48% schizophrenia) the frequency of metabolic syndrome (43%) was no higher than in healthy older persons (39.5%, p = 0.60). However, in 51% of the smi sample, metabolic screening detected at least one metabolic abnormality in a patient with no previous history for that specific parameter.
conclusion By making routine metabolic screening available to a greater number of older smi patients, we should be able to identify substantial numbers of metabolic abnormalities that have been previously overlooked.

keywords elderly, metabolic syndrome, severe mental illness