Introduction: Quality of life is an important measure of results in psychiatry in general, and in the treatment of schizophrenia in particular. The metabolic syndrome has a strong prevalence in schizophrenia, and can have an impact on quality of life.
Objective: To compare the perceived quality of life of a sample of schizophrenic patients with and without metabolic syndrome.
Methods: Cross-sectional observational study, including 136 patients (49 with metabolic syndrome) admitted in 2004 to a short-term hospitalization psychiatric unit with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder validated using the SCID-I. Metabolic syndrome defined according to NCEP-ATP III criteria. Quality of life assessed using the EuroQol 5D. Simple associative, and multivariate analysis (logistic regression) were performed.
Results: In the schizophrenic patients studied, metabolic syndrome is associated with age (p = 0.035), pension beneficiary (p = 0.005), antipsychotics treatment (p = 0.017), years of evolution (p = 0.008), and also with a lower score on the EuroQol 5D ‘health state today’ (p = 0.035) and ‘mobility’ (p = 0.011) dimensions. Multivariate analysis (logistic regression) shows that quality of life is mainly associated with age (OR = 3.2), metabolic syndrome (OR = 2.6) and mobility problems (OR = 2).
Conclusion: When treating schizophrenic patients, we should take into account comorbidity with metabolic syndrome, since the latter, in addition to representing a significant cardiovascular risk factor, can also affect, added to treatment issues, illness factors and other social and environmental variables, the patient’s quality of life.