Metabolic syndrome includes being overweight, having a pot belly and having high blood pressure and cholesterol and is a significant risk factor for developing diabetes and heart disease. There is some evidence that people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be more at risk for developing metabolic syndrome and taking antipsychotic drugs is also known to raise the risk. Researchers from the University of California, San Diego studied 203 people. They were all over 40 and had psychotic symptoms for which they were taking antipsychotic medication. 65 had a diagnosis of schizophrenia, 56 had dementia, 49 had a mood disorder and 33 had PTSD. The study found that 72% of people with PTSD had metabolic syndrome, compared to 60% of those with schizophrenia, 58% of those with a mood disorder and 56% of those with dementia. Those people with PTSD, schizophrenia and a mood disorder had significantly higher body-mass indices than those with dementia and the PTSD group had significantly higher blood pressure compared to the dementia and mood-disorder group.
Jin, Hua ... [et al] - Association of posttraumatic stress disorder with increased prevalence of metabolic syndrome Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology June 2009, 29(3), 210-215