The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting in New York, New York. Psychiatry Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in psychiatry. Check back for the latest news from APA 2018.

NEW YORK — Pediatric and young adult patients treated with antipsychotics after experiencing a first episode of psychosis are at an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome and subsequent cardiovascular disease, according to research presented at the American Psychiatric Association (APA) 2018 annual meeting, held May 5-9, 2018, in New York City.

The retrospective chart review of 52 patients (aged 14-35 years) included data on antipsychotic medication, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, random glucose, and hemoglobin A1c at initial visit and follow-up visits at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months.

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The percentage of patients with metabolic syndrome increased over time (11% at initial visit vs 35% at the 24-month follow-up). An analysis of individual parameters showed an increase in percentage of patients with high BMI, waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, and low high-density lipoprotein.

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Glycemic control influenced metabolic syndrome risk the least, as the participants’ hemoglobin A1c levels were all within target and random glucose was high for only 2 patients at baseline.

In this population, BMI and waist circumference became abnormal before blood parameters, which researchers say suggests a cost-effective measure to predict metabolic syndrome development.

Young patients treated with antipsychotics for early psychosis are at an increased risk for metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

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Shah A. Assessment of metabolic syndrome in patients experiencing first-episode psychosis treated with antipsychotics. Presented at: 2018 American Psychiatric Association (APA) Annual Meeting; New York, NY; May 5-9. Poster 18.