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Obesity in individuals with schizophrenia: a case controlled study in Scotland

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Isobel M. Cameron
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
Ross J. Hamilton
NHS Grampian, UK
Gordon Fernie
University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
Stephen A. MacGillivray*
University of Dundee, Dundee, UK
Dr Steve MacGillivray, Senior Lecturer in Evidence Synthesis, Group Lead Evidence Synthesis Training and Research Group (STAR Group), School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Dundee Centre for Health and Related Research, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, UK. Email:
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Despite extensive clinical concern about rates of obesity in patients with schizophrenia, there is little evidence of the extent of this problem at a population level.


To estimate levels of obesity in a national population sample by comparing patients with schizophrenia with matched controls.


We calculated levels of obesity for each patient with schizophrenia from the national Primary Care Clinical Informatics Unit database (n=4658) matched with age, gender and neighbourhood controls.


We demonstrated a significant increased obesity hazard for the schizophrenia group using Cox regression analysis, with odds ratio (OR) of 1.94 (95% CI 1.81–2.10) (under the assumption of missing body mass index (BMI) indicating non-obesity) and OR=1.68 (95% CI 1.55–1.81) where no assumptions were made for missing BMI data.


People with schizophrenia are at increased risk of being obese compared with controls matched by age, gender and practice attended. Priority should be given to research which aims to reduce weight and increase activity in those with schizophrenia.

Short report
Copyright © The Royal College of Psychiatrists 2017


Declaration of interest



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