Cardiometabolic health risks, lifestyle behaviours and quality of life in people diagnosed with early psychosis – A cross-sectional study

Soontareeporn Meepring, Richard Gray, Yan Li, Grace Ho, Wai Tong Chien, Daniel Bressington

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


What is known on the subject?: People diagnosed with schizophrenia have poor cardiometabolic health, with elevated 10-year cardiovascular disease risk (CVD-R) scores and low quality of life (QOL). There is a lack of understanding about CVD-R scores in people diagnosed with early psychosis and no studies have quantified CVD-R using the QRISK®3 calculator in this client group. Establishing potential relationships between modifiable lifestyle behaviours/treatment characteristics with CVD-R or QOL may identify targets for early intervention. What the paper adds to existing knowledge?: This is the first study to quantify the individual 10-year CVD-R of people diagnosed with early psychosis utilising the QRISK®3 calculator. This is also the first study to investigate relationships between QOL and CVD-R and lifestyle factors in a cohort of Thai people diagnosed with early psychosis. We observed low levels of physical health-related QOL and high levels of CVR-R despite participants reporting relatively positive lifestyle behaviours. What are the implications for practice?: The cardiometabolic health state of this client group warrants as much attention as for those with an enduring severe mental illness; early preventative interventions are warranted. It may be useful to routinely quantify the CVD-R of people diagnosed with early psychosis using the QRISK®3 calculator, even in the absence of immediate concerns about lifestyle behaviours. Mental health nurses should utilise evidence-based approaches such as increasing activity levels, dietary counselling and behaviour change interventions to mitigate poor physical health in this client group. Abstract: Introduction People diagnosed with schizophrenia have poor cardiometabolic health, with elevated 10-year cardiovascular disease risk (CVD-R) scores and poor quality of life (QOL). There is lack of understanding of these issues in early psychosis. Aims To quantify CVD-R in people diagnosed with early psychosis and profile their obesity prevalence, lifestyle behaviours and QOL. Secondary aim was to explore associations between lifestyle behaviours/treatment characteristics and CVD-R/QOL. Method Baseline data from 81 RCT participants were used to profile cardiometabolic health risks (QRISK®3, BMI and waist circumference). Participants self-reported lifestyle behaviours and QOL. Relationships between modifiable treatment/lifestyle factors and QOL/CVD-R were explored. Results Participants’ relative risk for CVD over 10 years was 1.93 times higher than healthy counterparts; 39% also had an obese BMI and physical QOL was poor. No significant associations were observed between CVD-R or QOL with treatment characteristics and lifestyle factors. Discussion Despite positive lifestyle behaviours, participants had elevated CVD-R scores and poor physical health-related QOL. Quantifying CVD-R with QRISK®3 may highlight the need for health promotion interventions. Implications for practice Mental health professionals should be aware that elevated CVD-R exists in the context of relatively healthy lifestyle behaviours and utilise evidence-based interventions to address these issues.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • cardiovascular disease risk
  • early psychosis
  • lifestyle behaviours
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health

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