The objective was to evaluate the cardiovascular profile of first-episode psychosis patients in São Paulo, Brazil, an issue that has not been sufficiently explored in low-/middle-income countries.
A cross-sectional study was performed 1 to 3 years after an initial, larger survey that assessed first-episode psychosis in São Paulo. We evaluated cardiovascular risk factors and lifestyle habits using standard clinical examination and laboratory evaluation.
Of 151 contacted patients, 82 agreed to participate (mean age=35 years; 54% female). The following diagnoses were found: 20.7% were obese, 29.3% had hypertension, 39.0% had dyslipidemia, 19.5% had metabolic syndrome, and 1.2% had a >20% 10-year risk of coronary heart disease based on Framingham score. Also, 72% were sedentary, 25.6% were current smokers, and 7.3% reported a heavy alcohol intake.
Compared to other samples, ours presented a distinct profile of higher rates of hypertension and diabetes (possibly due to dietary habits) and lower rates of smoking and alcohol intake (possibly due to higher dependence on social support). Indirect comparison vs. healthy, age-matched Brazilians revealed that our sample had higher frequencies of hypertension, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, we confirmed a high cardiovascular risk in first-episode psychosis in Brazil. Transcultural studies are needed to investigate to which extent lifestyle contributes to such increased risk.
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