Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2012 Apr;10(1):1-12.

Are Cardiometabolic and Endocrine Abnormalities Linked to Sleep Difficulties in Schizophrenia? A Hypothesis Driven Review

  • 1Psychology Department, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
  • 2Chronobiology and Sleep, Institute for Health and Social Science Research, Central Queensland University, Mackay, Australia.
  • 3Concord Centre for Cardiometabolic Health in Psychosis, Concord Centre for Mental Health, Concord, Australia.
  • 4Schizophrenia Treatments and Outcomes Group, Brain and Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.


Schizophrenia is a psychiatric disorder that includes symptoms such as hallucinations, disordered thoughts, disorganized or catatonic behaviour, cognitive dysfunction and sleep-wake disturbance. In addition to these symptoms, cardiometabolic dysfunction is common in patients with schizophrenia. While previously it has been thought that cardiometabolic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia were associated with medications used to manage this disorder, more recently it has been demonstrated that these symptoms are present in drug naive and unmedicated patients. Sleep-wake disturbance, resulting in chronic sleep loss has also been demonstrated to induce changes in cardiometabolic function. Chronic sleep loss has been associated with an increased risk for weight gain, obesity and cardiac and metabolic disorders, independent of other potentially contributing factors, such as smoking and body mass index. We hypothesise that the sleep-wake disturbance comorbid with schizophrenia may play a significant role in the high prevalence of cardiometabolic dysfunction observed in this patient population. Here we present a critical review of the evidence that supports this hypothesis.


Schizophrenia; Cardiometabolic risk; Causative links; Clock genes
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