Friday, January 15, 2021

Insulin Levels, BMI in Youth May Be Linked to Psychosis, Depression Risk in Adulthood

Disrupted insulin sensitivity in childhood and adolescence may be a shared risk factor for cardiometabolic disorders and psychosis in adulthood, a study in JAMA Psychiatry has found. The study also found that a major increase in BMI around puberty may indicate a greater risk for adult depression.

Benjamin I. Perry, M.R.C.Psych., of the University of Cambridge School of Clinical Medicine in Cambridge, United Kingdom, and colleagues examined data from people aged 1 to 24 years in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a prospective study of approximately 15,000 British people. They obtained data on fasting insulin levels for 5,790 people measured at ages 9, 15, 18, and 24 years, and BMI for 10,463 people measured at 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 18, and 24 years.

Those with persistently high fasting insulin levels from age 9 years had five times the odds of psychosis and 3.22 times the odds of having a psychotic disorder at age 24. However, fasting insulin levels were not associated with depression.

“Our findings complement meta-analyses reporting altered glucose-insulin homeostasis in first-episode psychosis. Moreover, our results suggest that disruptions to glucose-insulin homeostasis detectable at first-episode psychosis in adults may begin in childhood,” Perry and colleagues wrote. Altered glucose-insulin homeostasis could be a shared mechanism for psychosis and type 2 diabetes, they added.

People who experienced a major increase in BMI as they entered puberty had 4.46 times the odds of having a depressive episode at age 24. BMI was not associated with an increased risk of psychosis.

“[O]ur results suggest that these cardiometabolic markers could be among shared risk factors and indicators for adult cardiometabolic and psychiatric disorders and may represent novel targets for prevention and treatment of cardiometabolic disorders in people with psychosis and depression,” the researchers wrote.

(Image: iStock/Evgeny Gromov)

APA’s Next Town Hall to Examine How Racism Affects Diversity in Psychiatric Workforce

Register now for the town hall “Structural Racism & Psychiatric Residency Training: Recruitment, Retention, and Development,” to be held Monday, February 8, at 8 p.m. ET. Panelists will address the disproportionate number of minority psychiatrists, their experiences in different practice settings, and why having diversity in the psychiatric workforce psychiatry is important for everyone.



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