Trying to Understand the Link between Socioeconomic Deprivation, Blood Lipids, Pyschosis, & Cardiovascular Risk

Research Paper Title

Socioeconomic deprivation and blood lipids in first-episode psychosis patients with minimal antipsychotic exposure: Implications for cardiovascular risk.

Background

The influence of socioeconomic deprivation on the cardiovascular health of patients with psychosis-spectrum disorders (PSD) has not been investigated despite the growing recognition of social factors as determinants of health, and the disproportionate rates of cardiovascular mortality observed in PSD.

Discordant results have been documented when studying dyslipidemia -a core cardiovascular risk factor- in first-episode psychosis (FEP), before chronic exposure to antipsychotic medications.

The objective of the present study is to determine the extent to which socioeconomic deprivation affects blood lipids in patients with FEP, and examine its implications for cardiovascular risk in PSD.

Methods

Linear regression models, controlling for age, sex, exposure to pharmacotherapy, and physical anergia, were used to test the association between area-based measures of material and social deprivation and blood lipid levels in a sample of FEP patients (n = 208).

Results

Social, but not material deprivation, was associated with lower levels of total and HDL cholesterol.

This effect was statistically significant in patients with affective psychoses, but not in schizophrenia-spectrum disorders.

Conclusions

Contrary to other reports from the literature, the relationship between socioeconomic disadvantage and blood lipid levels was contingent on the social rather than the material aspects of deprivation.

Furthermore, this association also depended on the main diagnostic category of psychosis, suggesting a complex interaction between the environment, psychopathology, and physical health.

Future studies exploring health issues in psychosis might benefit from taking these associations into consideration.

A better understanding of the biology of blood lipids in this context is necessary.

Reference

Veru-Lesmes, F., Rho, A., Joober, R., Iyer, S. & Malla, A. (2020) Socioeconomic deprivation and blood lipids in first-episode psychosis patients with minimal antipsychotic exposure: Implications for cardiovascular risk. Schizophrenia Research. pii: S0920-9964(19)30589-4. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2019.12.019. [Epub ahead of print].

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