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A comparison of the nutrient intake of a community-dwelling first-episode psychosis cohort, aged 19–64 years, with data from the UK population

  • Kevin Williamson (a1), Karen Kilner (a2) and Nicola Clibbens (a3)

Psychosis increases the risk of CVD, obesity and type 2 diabetes and reduces life expectancy. There are limited data comparing the dietary habits of community-dwelling first-episode psychosis sufferers – with autonomy over diet – and the general population. The data represent the retrospective evaluation of nutritional data collected between 2007 and 2013 from 143 individuals from the UK population receiving treatment for first-episode psychosis. Differences in mean nutrient intakes between the study cohort and the national sample were tested for statistical significance using independent t tests, incorporating Satterthwaite's correction where required. Mean total energy intake was lower for males (P = 0·049) and higher for females (P = 0·016) in the cohort than in the corresponding subgroups of the national sample. Females in the study cohort consumed 12·9 (95 % CI 4·3, 21·5) g more total fat per d, whilst males consumed 7·7 (95 % CI 0·5, 14·9) g less protein per d than the national sample. Males in the study also showed significantly lower mean intakes than nationally of folate, Fe, Se, vitamin D and Zn, but not vitamin C. The proportion of individuals not meeting the lower reference nutrient intakes, particularly for Se (males 54·0 % and females 57·1 %) and for Fe amongst females (29·6 %), is cause for concern regarding potentially severe deficiencies. Further exploration of dietary habits within first-episode psychosis is warranted to assess whether individuals make beneficial dietary changes for their physical and mental health and wellbeing following dietary change intervention. It would also be pertinent to assess any correlation between diet and mental health symptomology.

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      A comparison of the nutrient intake of a community-dwelling first-episode psychosis cohort, aged 19–64 years, with data from the UK population
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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
* Corresponding author: K. Williamson, fax +44 114 3277757, email
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