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Increased risk of type 2 diabetes among the siblings of patients with schizophrenia

  • Mao-Hsuan Huang (a1), Mu-Hong Chen (a1) (a2), Kai-Lin Huang (a1) (a2), Ju-Wei Hsu (a1) (a2), Ya-Mei Bai (a1) (a2), Chih-Ming Cheng (a1) (a2), Tung-Ping Su (a1) (a2) (a3), Cheng-Ta Li (a1) (a2), Shih-Jen Tsai (a1) (a2), Wei-Chen Lin (a1) (a2), Albert C. Yang (a1) (a2) and Tzeng-Ji Chen (a4) (a5)...



Research suggests an association between metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and schizophrenia. However, the risk of metabolic disorders in the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia remains unclear.


Using the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database, 3135 unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands and 12,540 age-/sex-matched control subjects were included and followed up to the end of 2011. Individuals who developed metabolic disorders during the follow-up period were identified.


The unaffected siblings of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM (3.4% vs. 2.6%, p = 0.010) than the controls. Logistic regression analyses with the adjustment of demographic data revealed that the unaffected siblings of patients with schizophrenia were more likely to develop T2DM (odds ratio [OR]: 1.39, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–1.75) later in life compared with the control group. Moreover, only female siblings of schizophrenia probands had an increased risk of hypertension (OR: 1.47, 95% CI: 1.07–2.01) during the follow-up compared with the controls.


The unaffected siblings, especially sisters, of schizophrenia probands had a higher prevalence of T2DM and hypertension compared with the controls. Our study revealed a familial link between schizophrenia and T2DM in a large sample. Additional studies are required to investigate the shared pathophysiology of schizophrenia and T2DM.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Ju-Wei Hsu, MD, Department of Psychiatry, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Shih-Pai Road, Sec. 2, 11217, Taipei, Taiwan. (Email:


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Authors Mao-Hsuan Huang and Mu-Hong Chen contributed equally to this article.

We thank Mr. I-Fan Hu for his friendship and support.

The study was supported by grant from Taipei Veterans General Hospital (V103E10-001, V104E10-002, V105E10-001-MY2-1, V105A-049, V106B-020, V107B-010, V107C-181). The funding source had no role in any process of our study.



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