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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2015, Article ID 969182, 8 pages
Review Article

An Overview of Diabetes Management in Schizophrenia Patients: Office Based Strategies for Primary Care Practitioners and Endocrinologists

1Departments of Psychiatry and Internal Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, 34 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06519, USA

Received 5 January 2015; Revised 11 March 2015; Accepted 12 March 2015

Academic Editor: Kazuhiro Shiizaki

Copyright © 2015 Aniyizhai Annamalai and Cenk Tek. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diabetes is common and seen in one in five patients with schizophrenia. It is more prevalent than in the general population and contributes to the increased morbidity and shortened lifespan seen in this population. However, screening and treatment for diabetes and other metabolic conditions remain poor for these patients. Multiple factors including genetic risk, neurobiologic mechanisms, psychotropic medications, and environmental factors contribute to the increased prevalence of diabetes. Primary care physicians should be aware of adverse effects of psychotropic medications that can cause or exacerbate diabetes and its complications. Management of diabetes requires physicians to tailor treatment recommendations to address special needs of this population. In addition to behavioral interventions, medications such as metformin have shown promise in attenuating weight loss and preventing hyperglycemia in those patients being treated with antipsychotic medications. Targeted diabetes prevention and treatment is critical in patients with schizophrenia and evidence-based interventions should be considered early in the course of treatment. This paper reviews the prevalence, etiology, and treatment of diabetes in schizophrenia and outlines office based interventions for physicians treating this vulnerable population.