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BMI Progression Identified at First Psychotic Episode

Bipolar Disord; ePub 2017 Jun 2; Strassnig, et al

Nearly two-thirds of participants with schizophrenia and over half of those with bipolar disorder (BD) were obese 20 years after first hospitalization for psychosis, considerably higher than the rate for adults in New York State (27%), a recent study found. Researchers analyzed data from the Suffolk County Mental Health Project cohort of consecutive first admissions with psychosis recruited from September 1989 to December 1995 and subsequently followed for 20 years, focusing on people with schizophrenia (n=146) and BD (n=87). They found:

  • There was a statistically significant effect of time and diagnosis on BMI, but not the interaction of time × diagnosis.
  • Most participants had normal BMIs at the first 2 assessments.
  • Early overweight was a predictor of eventual obesity for both groups.
  • At the 20-year follow-ups, approximately 50% of the BD and 62% of the schizophrenia sample were obese, with a greater prevalence of obesity in schizophrenia at each assessment, except for years 4 and 20.


Strassnig M, Kotov R, Cornaccio D, Fochtmann L, Harvey PD, Bromet EJ. Twenty-year progression of body mass index in a county-wide cohort of people with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder identified at their first episode of psychosis. [Published online ahead of print June 2, 2017]. Bipolar Disord. doi:10.1111/bdi.12505.