The Link Between Schizophrenia and Diabetes Revealed.

Schizophrenics three times more likely to develop diabetes.

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Results showed that regardless of lifestyle factors and ethnicity, the common denominator for developing an increased risk of type 2 diabetes was early schizophrenia. The study demonstrates that elevated levels of insulin, and higher levels of insulin resistance in individuals with early schizophrenia.

Schizophrenics have it tough. They die, on average, 30 years earlier than the general population and they are also three times more likely to wind up with type 2 diabetes. Scientists at King’s College London say they have found a link between schizophrenia and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

The link between schizophrenia and diabetes was first made more than 100 years ago in an age before antipsychotics when junk food and poor diet were not the culprits that trigger the blood sugar disease, suggesting a causative link between schizophrenia and diabetes.

However, a recent study found that the risk of diabetes was present regardless of factors such as the use of antipsychotic drugs, diet, and exercise. People with schizophrenia often have other health issues such as heart attack, stroke, all factors that contribute to their 30-year reduction in life expectancy.

Antipsychotic drugs are often associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, but amongst other reasons that contribute to schizophrenics being particularly susceptible to the blood sugar disease, include poor diet and a lack of exercise. However, a recent study found that the risk of developing diabetes for schizophrenics remains high even after these factors are taken into account.

Researchers examined whether the risk of diabetes is already increased in people at the early stage of schizophrenia – before antipsychotic drugs have been prescribed.

Researchers studied data from 16 studies of 731 patients experiencing their first episode of schizophrenia and a control group of 614 people. The blood test analysis of the participants revealed that schizophrenics had above average levels of fasting blood glucose, indicating an increased risk of developing diabetes. What’s especially notable is that participants who had their first early episode of schizophrenia were diagnosed with higher levels of insulin and increased levels of insulin resistance.

Results showed that regardless of lifestyle factors and ethnicity, the common denominator for developing an increased risk of type 2 diabetes was early schizophrenia. The study demonstrates that elevated levels of insulin, and higher levels of insulin resistance in individuals with early schizophrenia.

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MJ Stone is a Montreal writer and artist. He has worked as a journalist for the Globe and Mail and CBC and his copy has also been featured in Hour Magazine, MacLean's and Parabola Magazine. In 2012 Stone wrapped up his first novel, The fool. He has been writing and editing health-related material at Download Apps since 2014.