11. Metabolic Syndrome and Mental Illness

  1. Christopher D. Byrne FRCP, FRCPath, PhD3 and
  2. Sarah H. Wild FRCPE, FFPH, PhD4
  1. Richard I. G. Holt MA, MB BCHIR, PhD, FRCP, FHEA1 and
  2. Robert C. Peveler MA, DPhil, BM, BCh, FRCPsych2

Published Online: 10 JUN 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444347319.ch11

The Metabolic Syndrome, Second Edition

The Metabolic Syndrome, Second Edition

How to Cite

Holt, R. I. G. and Peveler, R. C. (2011) Metabolic Syndrome and Mental Illness, in The Metabolic Syndrome, Second Edition (eds C. D. Byrne and S. H. Wild), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444347319.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Institute for Developmental Sciences, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK

  2. 4

    Centre for Population Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sub-Division, Developmental Origins of Adult Health and Disease Division, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK

  2. 2

    Clinical Neurosciences Division, University of Southampton School of Medicine, Southampton, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 10 JUN 2011
  2. Published Print: 12 AUG 2011

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444336580

Online ISBN: 9781444347319



  • depression;
  • schizophrenia;
  • bipolar illness;
  • anti-psychotics


Diabetes and cardiovascular disease occur 2–3-fold more frequently among people with either depression or more severe psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia and bipolar illness. Much of the excess risk can be ascribed to an increase in traditional lifestyle risk factors; however, genetics may also contribute to some of the risk. Mental illnesses are associated with neuroendocrine changes, such as hypercortisolemia and increased catecholamines, and chronic inflammation which may play an important role in the etiology of the metabolic syndrome. Anti-psychotic treatment, particularly the newer second generation anti-psychotics, has been implicated in the development of features of the metabolic syndrome, but overall treatment with second generation anti-psychotics is associated with decreased cardiovascular mortality. It is important to screen and treat cardiovascular risk factors actively in people with mental illness.