n African Journal of Psychiatry - The prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its associated factors in long-term patients in a specialist psychiatric hospital in South Africa : original

Volume 16, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 1994-8220


The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of metabolic disorders in long-term psychiatric patients, and the relationship between known risk factors and these metabolic disorders.

All psychiatric in-patients ≥18 years, who had been admitted ≥six months were invited to participate. Eighty-four patients participated. They were interviewed, examined, measured and blood tests conducted to determine several demographic and clinical variables including age, gender, weight, blood pressure and fasting blood glucose.
The prevalence of the metabolic disorders were: metabolic syndrome 32%, hypertension 32%, diabetes mellitus 8%, cholesterol dyslipidaemia 32%, triglyceride dyslipidaemia 29%, low density lipoprotein (LDL) dyslipidaemia 50%, overweight 37%, and obesity 24%. Black African and female patients were more likely to have metabolic syndrome. Female patients were more likely to have cholesterol dyslipidaemia and obesity. Hypertension was associated with age. Ninety-six percent of patients with dyslipidaemia were newly diagnosed during the study. Three out of the seven previously diagnosed diabetic patients had raised fasting blood glucose levels.
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome falls towards the lower limits of the expected prevalence rate. Race and gender showed a moderate statistical association with metabolic syndrome. There is a lack of screening for dyslipidaemia in this setting. Diabetic patients should be referred to specialist diabetic clinics for better monitoring and control.

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