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CVD Risk Factors Tied to Cognitive Impairment in Schizophrenia

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 -- Cardiovascular risk factors are associated with cognitive impairment among individuals with schizophrenia, according to a review and meta-analysis published online March 3 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Katsuhiko Hagi, Ph.D., from Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma in Tokyo, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association between risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cognition in individuals with schizophrenia. Data were included from 27 studies with 10,174 individuals with schizophrenia.

The researchers found that patients with schizophrenia who had metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or hypertension had significantly greater global cognitive deficits; nonsignificantly greater deficits were seen in patients with obesity, overweight, and insulin resistance. When analyzing cognitive subdomains, cardiovascular risk factors were associated with cognitive dysfunction in five domains for diabetes and in four domains for metabolic syndrome and hypertension.

"In individuals with CVD risk factors, cognitive impairment should be detected, and CVD risk factors and cognition should be managed," the authors write. "Additionally, accumulation or worsening of CVD risk factors should be prevented as much as possible, choosing psychotropic medications with low risk to worsen CVD risk factors and cognition, and promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to pharmaceutical companies, including Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, which funded the study.

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