High prevalence of underweight and undernutrition in Japanese inpatients with schizophrenia




In Europe and North America, schizophrenia patients treated with antipsychotic agents have a higher prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome compared with healthy individuals. In Japan, the prevalence of overweight/obesity in the general population is considerably lower than that in Europe and North America. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity as well as laboratory data in Japanese inpatients with schizophrenia.


The subjects were 333 inpatients with schizophrenia and 191 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers. Overweight/obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) ≥ 25 kg/m2, standard weight was defined as BMI ≥ 18.5 to <25 kg/m2 and underweight was defined as BMI < 18.5 kg/m2.


A significant difference in the prevalence of the three BMI levels was observed between schizophrenia patients and controls (P < 0.001). The prevalence of underweight was significantly higher in schizophrenia patients than that in controls (P < 0.001). The prevalence of hypoproteinemia (P < 0.001) and of hypocholesterolemia (P < 0.001) were significantly higher in schizophrenia patients than in controls. In schizophrenia patients, the prevalence of hypotriglyceridemia was significantly higher in the underweight group than in the standard weight group (P = 0.003) and in the overweight/obesity group (P < 0.001).


The prevalence of underweight in Japanese inpatients with schizophrenia may be higher compared with that in the general population. Therefore, the physical health of inpatients should be more carefully taken into account in clinical practice.