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Background: The use of antipsychotic medication, particularly second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people with severe mental illness (SMI). Few studies have compared body measures of people with SMI taking first generation antipsychotics (FGAs) to those taking SGAs.
Aim: We compare body measures between long-term male inpatients using either FGAs or SGAs.
Setting: The study was conducted at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, in Pretoria, Gauteng.
Methods: A total of 30 patients were selected from a list of male inpatients and were included in our study. Each participant had the following anthropometric measures done and these were compared between the two groups: Waist circumference (WC), body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR), waist to height ratio (WHtR) and hip circumference (HC). Hospital records were used to record demographic variables, diagnosis, comorbid disease and
psychotropic medication for each participant.
Results: Participants in the FGA and SGA groups had similar body measures, resulting in similar BMI, WHR and WHtR. Participants had a mean HC of 100.5 cm, 95% confidence interval (CI) (97.68, 103.22). BMI ranged from 21.87 kg/m² to 37.65 kg/m², with an overall mean of 28.5 kg/m², 95% CI (26.69, 30.22). Participants had a mean WHtR of 0.59, 95% CI (0.56, 0.61). Participants had a mean WC of 100.6 cm and 95% CI (96.26, 104.87), and the mean WHR
of both groups was 1.0.
Conclusion: Participants using FGAs and SGAs had similar body measures, and these indicated that this sample of male inpatients with SMI is at high risk for CVD.