Clinical Edge

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Antipsychotic Meds and Diabetes Screening

Study reveals the importance of testing

It is important to screen for diabetes in individuals treated with antipsychotic medications, according to a retrospective cohort study involving nearly 51,000 individuals.

Participants all had diagnoses of severe mental illness, were prescribed an antipsychotic medication at least once, and were undergoing mental health care. Data was analyzed from 2 study periods about a year apart. Investigators looked for evidence of diabetes screening in the second analysis among those who did not have diabetes during the first analysis.

Among the results:

• More than 30% (15,315) were screened for diabetes.

• More than 31% (15,832) were not screened for diabetes.

• Those who had at least 1 outpatient visit during the study were 1.8 times more likely to be screened, compared with those who were not seen as an outpatient.

The authors noted that screening is particularly important in those taking medications that can lead to obesity.

Citation: Mangurian C, Newcomer, J, Vittinghoff E, et al. Diabetes screening among underserved adults with severe mental illness who take antipsychotic medications. [Published online ahead of print November 9, 2015]. JAMA Internal Med. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.6098.