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Clinical Correlates of Insulin Resistance in Chronic Schizophrenia: Relationship to Negative Symptoms.


Higher prevalence of physical comorbidity and premature mortality in persons with schizophrenia (PwS) results primarily from heightened cardiovascular and metabolic risks. The literature suggests that insulin resistance precedes the development of obesity, smoking, and use of antipsychotic medications, although these likely play a compounding role later in the course of the disorder. It is thus important to discover the clinical characteristics of PwS with high insulin resistance, as these individuals may represent an etiopathologically distinct subgroup with a distinct course and treatment needs. We conducted a cross-sectional study and compared insulin resistance between 145 PwS and 140 nonpsychiatric comparison (NC) participants, similar in age, sex, and race distribution. In addition, we examined correlates of insulin resistance in PwS. As expected, PwS had higher levels of insulin resistance [Homeostatic Model Assessment of Insulin Resistance (HOMA-IR)] and body mass index (BMI) compared to the NC participants. HOMA-IR in the PwS was most associated with negative symptoms, BMI, and non-White race/ethnicity. The mechanistic relationships between insulin resistance and negative symptoms in schizophrenia patients warrant further investigation, and future studies should examine outcomes of PwS with this cluster of physical and mental symptoms and determine how management of insulin resistance might improve health of these individuals.

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