Antipsychotics May Increase Diabetes Risk in Adolescents

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Children and adolescents who take antipsychotics are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, researchers found.

René Ernst Nielsen, MD, PhD, of Aalborg University Hospital in Aalborg, Denmark, and colleagues examined more than 48,299 youths who were treated for psychiatric illness between 1999 and 2010. Overall, 7,253 were given antipsychotics, and 41,046 were not.

Among youths who were prescribed an antipsychotic medication, 0.72% (95% CI = 0.52% - 0.91%) developed type 2 diabetes, compared to 0.27% (95% CI = 0.22% - 0.32%) not prescribed an antipsychotic, the researchers reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Developing type 2 diabetes was also more likely if first psychiatric diagnosis was given at an older age (OR=1.19; 95% CI: 1.12-1.27, P< 0.001). In addition, shorter time to onset of diabetes was noted in female youths (OR=4.48; 95% CI: 2.90-6.91, P< 0.001).

“Strict indications for antipsychotic treatment and routine cardiometabolic monitoring are crucial,” the researchers concluded.

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Taking Antipsychotics Heightens Kids' Diabetes Risk

Antipsychotics are associated with weight gain and diabetes. The risk and rate of diabetes in children and adolescents treated with antipsychotics is unclear.

A longitudinal register linkage case-control study of diabetes in all psychiatric patients aged <18 years in Denmark was performed from January 1999 through the end of June 2010.

Patients with and without antipsychotic exposure were compared regarding the occurrence of type 2 diabetes, defined as the prescription of oral antidiabetic medication. Regression analyses with type 2 diabetes as the dependent variable were conducted with sex, age, and diagnoses as covariates.

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