Br J Psychiatry Suppl 2004 Apr;47:S102-5
Swallownest Court Hospital, Aughton Road, Sheffield S26 4TH, UK.
Background: Diabetes is more common in people with schizophrenia than in the general population.
Aims: To explore the possible reasons for the association between diabetes and schizophrenia.
Method: Diet and other lifestyle factors in patients with schizophrenia were reviewed as risk factors for diabetes.
Results: People with schizophrenia show features of the metabolic syndrome at the onset of illness, before treatment. They also eat a poor diet, take little exercise and have high rates of smoking. Food intake may be increased further by antipsychotic medication. Nutritional factors appear to have a key role in the development of diabetes in patients with schizophrenia and may also affect the outcome and severity of schizophrenia. A common pathway through which diet might contribute to the development of both diabetes and schizophrenia is proposed.
Conclusions: Lifestyle factors may influence outcomes in both diabetes and schizophrenia. Lifestyle interventions are the key to improving the long-term health of people with schizophrenia.