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June 4, 2003

Other Illnesses

Question from Toronto, Ontario, Canada:

We have a family history of type 1 diabetes, and it as come to my attention that my niece's mother has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Schizophrenia was also mentioned because her father had it. I'm aware of the fact that there is some correlation between medication for schizophrenia and the onset of diabetes. Ultimately, I'm worried about my niece's chances of developing schizophrenia and then diabetes and also about her mother's chances of developing diabetes.Can you verify this correlation? What percentage of people who have diabetes, that also have schizophrenia?


There is no known connection between either schizophrenia and diabetes or bipolar disease and diabetes of which I am aware.


[Editor’s comment: There is an association between “atypical antipsychotic” medications (for schizophrenia and closely-related disorders) and the worsening of diabetes, and probably also the development of new-onset diabetes. See (among other articles at PubMed) Patients on Atypical Antipsychotic Drugs: Another high-risk group for type 2 diabetes. Lean ME, Pajonk FG. Diabetes Care 2003 May;26(5):1597-605