In this naturalistic observational study carried out in an inpatient treatment setting we as yet surveyed the parameters of the metabolic syndrome. A weekly monitoring procedure was implemented. The analysis included data of 350 patients over a time of 12 weeks. The last observation carried forward method was applied. Additionally we are evaluating the informative value of visceral body fat percentage as measured by a body composition analyzer. The patients showed a weight increase over the first 12 weeks (mean increase: 0.87 kg, p < .001) as well as an increase of the body mass index (mean increase: 0.45 kg/m2, p < .001). Accordingly, waist circumference (mean increase: 1.06 cm, p = .007) and visceral fat index (mean increase: 0.19, p = .007) increased. No worsening of fasting glucose and blood lipid concentrations was detected. Spearmens coefficient indicated correlations between visceral fat index and body mass index (ρ = .77; p < .001), waist circumference (ρ = .70; p < .001), and triglyceride concentrations (ρ = .39; p < .001). Correlations between visceral fat index and fasting glucose (ρ = .18; p = .019), and visceral fat index and total cholesterol (ρ = .16; p = .049) were weak but also significant. In contrast, the HDL cholesterol showed a negative relation with ρ < -.39 at each point in time (p < .001).
We conclude that psychiatric patients are at increased risk for the development of metabolic alterations during inpatient treatment. The possible underlying mechanisms of this interaction are discussed.