Anti-psychotic medications comprise between 30–50% of all psychotropics prescribed for people with learning disabilities as reported in this WELD post:
This study set out to explore metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes in people with learning disabilities who have been prescribed antipsychotic medication.
An audit of 32 patients was carried out.
- Height, weight and body mass index was recorded in 34 % prior to treatment reducing to 22% at three months.
- Blood pressure was recorded in 6% at baseline with no measurement during treatment.
- Plasma glucose and plasma cholesterol were measured in 40% on initiation but decreased to 33% at three months.
- 21% received four monthly monitoring of biochemical parameters with 25% having an annual monitoring of all parameters.
The authors suggest that metabolic syndrome in people with learning disability being treated with antipsychotic medication was inconsistent at best. A proportion of patients may have been monitored in primary care, but they suggest that action is needed to improve the standard of metabolic syndrome detection. They suggest the development and application of national criteria for monitoring the prescription of antipsychotic medication
Monitoring for metabolic syndrome in people with intellectual disability on antipsychotic medication, Baburaj R & El Tahir M in Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities 5, 3, 38-44