Clin Psychopharmacol Neurosci.  2020 May;18(2):279-288. 10.9758/cpn.2020.18.2.279.

Higher Prevalence of Metabolic Syndrome in Child-adolescent Patients with Bipolar Disorder

  • 1The University of Texas Harris County Psychiatric Center, Houston, TX, USA
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX, USA


Objective: Previous studies have indicated a convergent and bidirectional relationship between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and bipolar disorder (BD). As most of these studies focused mainly on adults diagnosed with BD, our study aims to investigate and characterize metabolic disturbances in child-adolescents diagnosed with BD.
We retrospectively examined the medical records of psychiatric hospitalizations with admitting diagnosis of BD in child-adolescents (age < 18 years). Body mass index (BMI), lipid profile, fasting blood glucose, and blood pressure were primary variables. National Cholesterol Education Program criteria were used to define MetS. Reference group data was obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey study. Statistical analyses included t tests, chi-square tests, and Fisher’s exact tests.
We identified 140 child-adolescent patients with BD (mean age = 15.12 ± 1.70 years, 53% male). MetS was significantly more common in BD compared to the reference group: 14% (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 8−20) vs. 6.7% (95% CI 4.1−9.2), p = 0.001 with no significant difference by sex. MetS components were higher in the BD group, particularly BMI ≥ 95% (25% vs. 11.8%, p < 0.001) and high blood pressure (17% vs. 8%, p = 0.05). Moreover, female patients had lower odds of high blood pressure (odds ratio = 0.24 [95% CI 0.08−0.69], p = 0.005).
Compared with the general child-adolescent population, the prevalence of MetS was significantly higher in patients with BD of same age. This reiterates the notion of an increased risk of MetS in patients diagnosed with BD; and thus, further exploration is warranted.


Bipolar disorder; Metabolic syndrome; Child-adolescents; Body mass index; Lipids; Blood glucose
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