Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one cause of death in the United States and most developed countries and is expected to remain so for much of this century. Rates of obesity have increased 2–4-fold over the last 2 decades in the US and this condition is linked with early development of hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and atherosclerosis. The prevalence of diabetes is also increasing, and the rise of diabetes in young people 18–29 years of age was 40% in the period between 1990 and 2001. The World Heart Federation (WHF) has estimated that CVD will become the number one cause of death in the world by 2020, surpassing infectious disease in developing countries. Metabolic disorders are on the rise in general. However, as highlighted in the discussions presented in this supplement, patients with serious mental illness appear to represent a special population who are particularly vulnerable, with rates that surpass the general population.