International Clinical Psychopharmacology vol:22 issue:1 pages:43-49
Mortality rates in patients with schizophrenia are double compared with the general population, with cardiovascular disease causing 50% of the excess. Lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is recognized as a primary target for the prevention of cardiovascular mortality. The effects of lipid-lowering treatment were evaluated in patients with schizophrenia. Forty-six patients with schizophrenia and with severe dyslipidaemia were identified. All were treated with antipsychotics. Patients were screened for cardiovascular risk factors and examined at baseline when statin therapy was initiated. The effects of lipid-lowering medication on lipid profile, glucose homeostasis and components of metabolic syndrome were evaluated at 3 months follow-up. After 3 months of statin therapy, a significant decrease in triglycerides, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and, in associated ratios, low-density lipoprotein/high-density lipoprotein, cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein was observed. No significant changes occurred in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, waist circumference or glucose homeostasis. The only component of metabolic syndrome affected by statin therapy has been the serum triglyceride level. Statins proved effective in the management of dyslipidaemia in patients with schizophrenia treated with antipsychotics. More complex treatment may be required for associated metabolic disturbances.