Act early to prevent CVD in first onset of psychosis

A NEW Australian algorithm promotes early intervention to improve cardiometabolic health outcomes in young people being treated for early psychosis.

The algorithm, developed by clinicians at the Prince of Wales mental health program and the University of NSW, identifies ‘at risk’ criteria, such as obesity, blood pressure measurements and blood glucose levels, and sets limits for intervention.

It recommends diet and lifestyle interventions initially, then suggests consideration of switching antipsychotics, followed by pharmaco­therapy to manage cardiac risk factors.

Dr Jackie Curtis, who developed the tool and presented it at the RANZCP congress last week, said clinicians needed to act before patients became obese.

A separate study published by Dr Curtis’s group showed that in 85 patients aged 16–27 receiving atypical anti­psychotic drugs for first-episode psychosis, 55% of men and 42% of women were