The prevalence and mechanisms of metabolic syndrome in schizophrenia: a review.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS), a constellation of central obesity, hypertension, dyslipidaemia and glucose intolerance, is highly prevalent in individuals with schizophrenia and conveys significant cardiovascular risk and mortality. Associated risk factors are female sex, some ethnic groups, advanced age, long duration of illness, smoking and exposure to antipsychotic agents. The prevalence of MetS varies across countries and psychiatric populations, and its development can be very rapid. Regular monitoring of all features of MetS is the cornerstone of its early detection and management. Future research needs to focus more on genetic determinants of MetS in the context of schizophrenic illness. This review aims to update the reader with the latest knowledge about the prevalence of MetS in schizophrenia and what might be the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.