Screening for cardiovascular risk factors in adults with serious mental illness: A review of the evidence

Julia B. Baller, Emma E. McGinty, Susan T. Azrin, Denise Juliano-Bult, Gail L. Daumit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Adults with serious mental illness have a mortality rate two to three times higher than the overall US population, much of which is due to somatic conditions, especially cardiovascular disease. Given the disproportionately high prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors in the population with SMI, screening for these conditions is an important first step for timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. This comprehensive literature review summarizes screening rates for cardiovascular risk factors in the population with serious mental illness. Methods: Relevant articles published between 2000 and 2013 were identified using the EMBASE, PsychInfo, PubMed, SCOPUS and Web of Science databases. We reviewed 10 studies measuring screening rates for obesity, diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension in the population with serious mental illness. Two reviewers independently extracted information on screening rates, study population, and study setting. Results: Rates of screening varied considerably by time period, study population, and data source for all medical conditions. For example, rates of lipid testing for antipsychotic users ranged from 6% to 85%. For some conditions, rates of screening were consistently high. For example, screening rates for hypertension ranged from 79% - 88%. Conclusions: There is considerable variation in screening of cardiovascular risk factors in the population with serious mental illness, with significant need for improvement in some study populations and settings. Implementation of standard screening protocols triggered by diagnosis of serious mental illness or antipsychotic use may be promising avenues for ensuring timely diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular risk factors in this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number55
JournalBMC psychiatry
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 21 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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