Date: 10 Jul 2012

Prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in patients with borderline personality disorder: results from a cross-sectional study

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Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is an important risk factor for the development of type-2 diabetes and coronary artery disease. We aimed to compare the MetS prevalence in patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD) with comparison subjects followed in primary care from a similar region. One hundred and thirty-five BPD patients according to DSM-IV diagnostic criteria were compared to 1009 subjects from primary care. We used the American Heart Association/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute criteria to determine the rate of MetS. The age-standardized prevalence of MetS was more than double in patients with BPD compared to comparison subjects (23.3 vs. 10.6 %, p < 0.05). Regarding individual MetS criteria, hyperglycemia was significantly more prevalent in both genders (p < 0.05). Abdominal obesity (p < 0.05) and hypertriglyceridemia (p < 0.05) were significantly higher only in women with BPD. Within BPD patients, an increased rate of MetS was associated with higher BMI (p = 0.004), age (p = 0.03), treatment with second-generation antipsychotics (quetiapine, olanzapine and clozapine; p = 0.032), dysthymia (p = 0.031), panic disorder (p = 0.032), benzodiazepine dependency (p = 0.015) and binge eating disorder p = 0.02). Our results demonstrate an increased MetS rate, dysregulated glucose and lipid metabolism in patients with BPD. Cardiometabolic monitoring and careful screening for physical health conditions among people with BPD is warranted.