Mental illness, lifestyle and metabolic syndrome

While atypical antipsychotics can exacerbate abnormalities with glucose and lipid metabolism and lead to weight gain, other factors should not be ignored, argues Associate Professor Roger Chen, director of diabetes services and senior staff specialist at Concord Repatriation General Hospital in Sydney.

Medications play a role, he acknowledges, but they alone don’t explain the 25- to 30-year discrepancy in life expectancy experienced by those with serious mental illness, especially psychosis.