The need to monitor risk factors relating to patients on antipsychotics
background The use of antipsychotics can lead to the development of obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension and hyperglycemia, risk factors for diabetes mellitus type 2 and cardiovascular diseases.
aim To find out whether patients suffering from psychoses and schizophrenia and taking antipsychotics should be monitored systematically and periodically for the risk factors for and complications of the above-mentioned diseases.
method A written survey was conducted among the relatives of users of antipsychotics, relatives being members of the Ypsilon association in the Limburg region.
results Seventy-eight relatives (27%) returned the forms. Compared to the Dutch population, the risk factor for high blood pressure was remarkably common in the 20-30 age group. In the group of persons aged 30-40 obesity occurred surprisingly frequently; remarkably frequent too was diabetes in the 40-50 age group. At each monitoring session 27% of the users were checked on all parameters. Only 59% of the users were checked periodically.
conclusion Apparently, systematic and regular monitoring of risk factors and somatic complications is currently inadequate. The regional survey therefore needs to be extended so that it covers the entire country.