People with bipolar disorder (BD) and major depressive disorder (MDD) are at risk for premature death from various physical illnesses. A large component of this risk may be accounted for by an elevated risk of metabolic syndrome (MeS) and coronary heart disease (CHD). The objective of our study was to examine patients' physical health prior to first treatment and over 2 years of follow-up.
Ten-year risk for CHD and incidence of MeS were calculated for newly diagnosed patients with MDD ( n = 30) and BD ( n = 24) at baseline and over a 2-year follow-up. Age and sex-matched control subjects were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III dataset.
At baseline, 11.2% of patients met diagnostic criteria for MeS and this increased to 16.8% at follow-up. Women had higher rates of MeS but rates were similar across diagnosis. There was a significant increase within all MeS criteria. The 10-year CHD risk was low for patients at baseline and follow-up but increased across the follow-up period. Changes in CHD and MeS risk were not associated with a specific type of pharmacotherapy, as all medication classes appeared to increase risk.
Prior to treatment, MeS and CHD risk rates for patients were similar to the general population, but their risk of CHD increased appreciably.