Metabolic syndrome is a combination of disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism, being overweight with abdominal fat distribution, dyslipidaemia and high blood pressure and is often a precursor of type II diabetes and cardiovascular problems. It is particularly common in people with schizophrenia as the second generation antipsychotics used to treat the condition can lead to weight gain. A study of 221 people in Finland looked at the factors influencing metabolic syndrome in psychotic forensic inpatients. The researchers found that using clozapine, quetiapine and olanzapine increased the risk of developing metabolic syndrome by 8.1, 7.7 and 3.6 times respectively. However, increased levels of 'good' cholesterol were found in participants who were taking SSRI antidepressants and who had been diagnosed with alcohol dependence at some point, even if they were not alcohol-dependent at the time of the study.
Ojala, Kari ... [et al] - Characterization of metabolic syndrome among forensic psychiatric inpatients Journal of Forensic Psychiatry and Psychology March 2008, 19(1), 33-51