Harvard Mental Health Letter

Metabolic syndrome and mental illness

People with metabolic syndrome are five times more likely than healthy adults to develop diabetes and twice as likely to develop heart disease. Although metabolic syndrome affects nearly a quarter of all Americans — roughly 50 million people — those with mental illnesses like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are especially vulnerable. Antipsychotic medications in particular can cause significant weight gain. Other contributing factors include smoking, inadequate nutrition, lack of exercise, and limited access to quality health care.
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