Prevalence of metabolic syndrome in a predominantly Cuban, psychiatrically ill, and homeless population

Rafael A. Rivas-Vazquez, Iruma Bello, Manual Sarria, Noel D. Fernandez, Gustavo J. Rey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examined the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among a group of psychiatric outpatients enrolled in a homeless program that is located in a predominantly Hispanic geographic area of South Florida. Method: Data for this retrospective, cross-sectional analysis were obtained from a record review of 122 adult patients who received full medical and psychiatric assessments based on DSM-IV criteria during participation in our homeless program from January 2009 to May 2009. The primary outcome measure was the presence of metabolic syndrome. Results: The prevalence of metabolic syndrome within this population was 29.5%. Elevated waist circumference (48.5%) and elevated blood pressure (44.3%) were the 2 most frequent risk factors for the syndrome. Mean length of homelessness was 3.93 years, with no significant relationship noted between the presence of metabolic syndrome and duration of homelessness. Ninety-three percent of the subjects had been diagnosed with either schizophrenia or a mood disorder, and 61% had been treated with an atypical antipsychotic for at least 2 months over the preceding year. Our sample was predominantly Hispanic (79.5%), with Cuban Americans comprising 95% of that group. Among Hispanics, the prevalence rate of metabolic syndrome was 28.9%. Conclusions: Within our sample, homeless individuals compared to the general adult population in the United States seem to be at equal risk for metabolic syndrome. Although other studies have suggested an increased prevalence for metabolic syndrome among Hispanics, the obtained rate for our particular Hispanic sample was consistent with estimated prevalence of non-Hispanic individuals in the United States. Intervention programs rendering services to this population should include routine screening for presence of cardiovascular risk factors constituting metabolic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPrimary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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