Background: Extensive research indicates that obesity, defined by a body mass index (BMI) greater or equal to 30, is common in patients treated with antipsychotic drugs and is frequently associated with carbohydrate and lipid abnormalities leading to metabolic syndrome and diabetes. In contrast, the metabolic health of overweight patients (BMI = 25–29.9) without metabolic syndrome or diabetes has
not been thoroughly investigated.
Objective: To assess the metabolic health of overweight patients receiving antipsychotic drugs.
Methods: We compared standard metabolic parameters (BMI; waist circumference; hemoglobin A1c; fasting lipids; and fasting and post-challenge glucose and insulin) of normal weight, overweight and obese individuals from a consecutive cohort of antipsychotic-treated patients without metabolic
syndrome and/or diabetes.
Results: Compared with the normal weight subjects (n = 286), overweight patients (n = 212) had higher fasting insulin resistance as assessed with the homeostatic model (P = 0.023), insulin secretion during the oral glucose tolerance test (P = 0.0037), triglycerides (P = 0.0004) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = 0.0089), and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = .0014). The obese (n = 50) were different from the overweight subjects only with respect to higher post-challenge insulin levels (P = 0.0002). The average fasting glucose, post-challenge glucose, and hemoglobin A1c, severity of psychiatric disorders and antipsychotics used were similar in the three groups.
Conclusions: Overweight (BMI = 25–29.9) patients receiving antipsychotics are metabolically closer to
the obese than to normal weight counterparts. The findings suggest that interventions promoting weight loss and metabolic health are required for overweight patients even in the absence of metabolic syndrome or diabetes.