Patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders have increased morbidity and mortality, largely due to cardiovascular disease, which is associated with antipsychotic treatment.
Because of the link between cardiometabolic risk, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and antipsychotics, we aimed to investigate the development of NAFLD during the first 3 years of antipsychotic treatment in first episode non-affective psychosis patients.
A sample of 191 subjects was included in final analyses, randomly assigned to aripiprazole (N = 83), risperidone (N = 12), quetiapine (N = 46), and ziprasidone (N = 50). At intake, 180 patients were antipsychotic naïve. The NAFLD fibrosis score, FIB-4 score, and the fatty liver index (FLI) were calculated at baseline, at 3 months, and then yearly for 3 years. None of the patients showed significant liver fibrosis according to the mentioned scores at baseline, prior to randomization. At 3 years follow-up, 25.1 % individuals showed a FLI score ?60, which is a predictor of steatosis. Of the individuals considered indeterminate at baseline, 64.7 % developed a FLI score ?60 and only 16.6 % who had a FLI score <30 at baseline, showed a FLI score predictor of steatosis at endpoint. The FLI score ?60 at endpoint was associated with an increase of more than 7 % of the body mass index (FLI score ? 60, 91.7 %; FLI < 60, 55.9 %; p < 0.001), increased triglyceride levels (FLI score ? 60, 54.2 %; FLI < 60, 5.6 %; p < 0.001), decreased HDL levels (FLI score ? 60, 41.7 %; FLI < 60, 17.5 %; p = 0.001), hypertension (FLI score ? 60, 19.5 %; FLI < 60, 4.5 %; p = 0.002), and waist circumference increase (steatosis 68.8 %; FLI < 60, 14.0 %; p < 0.001).
Our results support the importance of assessing the potential development of NAFLD in schizophrenia spectrum patients receiving antipsychotic medication.
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