Too few adults taking antipsychotic medications are being screened for abnormalities in lipids, which include cholesterol and triglycerides, new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus finds.
The biggest gap in screening is among adults age 40 and younger, the group for whom early detection and intervention has been shown to be effective when additional cardiovascular risk is present.
Adults with serious mental illness die 20 to 30 years earlier than their peers, largely due to increased risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. Taking antipsychotic medication increases that risk. The American Diabetes Association and American Psychiatric Association recommends more intensive diabetes and cholesterol lipid screening for patients receiving antipsychotics, but rates of screening have remained low.