Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is associated with increased mortality, but the causes of this increase are poorly understood. This study by Isomura and colleagues examined whether OCD is associated with increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular complications.

Subjects diagnosed with OCD (n = 25,415) were identified and studied from a cohort of 12,497,002 individuals living in Sweden between 1973 and 2013. Results showed that OCD was associated with higher risk of metabolic/cardiovascular complications compared with the general population and their unaffected siblings. In the sibling comparison analysis, OCD patients had higher risks of obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and circulatory system diseases. Compared with patients who were not taking serotonin reuptake inhibitors, patients taking higher doses of serotonin reuptake inhibitors and who had a longer duration of treatment had significantly lower risks of metabolic and cardiovascular complications, regardless of whether they were also taking antipsychotics. The authors concluded that OCD is associated with an increased risk of metabolic and cardiovascular complications. They also recommended monitoring of metabolic and cardiovascular health in patients with OCD early in the course of the disorder.

Isomura K, Brander G, Chang Z, Kuja-Halkola R, Rück C, Hellner C, Lichtenstein P, Larsson H, Mataix-Cols D, Fernández de la Cruz L: Metabolic and Cardiovascular Complications in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: A Total population, Sibling Comparison Study With Long-Term Follow-up. Biological Psychiatry 84(5): 324-331 (2018).


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