Authors: Janice Plain and Michael Herman, NSW
Event: 2008 TheMHS Conference
Subject: MONITORING, HEALTH RISKS, OBESITY. COMORBIDITIES AND SETTING STANDARDS FOR PAPER
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Identifying the prevalence of health risk factors, assessing Metabolic Syndrome and identifying potential predictors in people with mental illness enables early detection of patients at high risk of developing chronic diseases. A health risk factor survey was developed at Macquarie Hospital to identify the prevalence of health risk factors in the patient population. A total of 165 in-patients were surveyed, with demographic, anthropometric, medical, biochemical, smoking and pharmaceutical data collected. Overweight and obesity was prevalent in 67% of patients, 76% had a waist circumference in the increased or substantially increased health risk range, 36.4% were found to have Metabolic Syndrome and 65% of patients smoked. Strong predictors of Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes were elevated Body Mass Index (BMI) and the number of cigarettes smoked. A high at-risk group for overweight and obesity was females. The survey provided a means of screening, monitoring and tracking health risk factors in an in-patient mental health population, targeting and prioritising resources and identifying areas for practice improvement. With targeted integrated interventions this has the potential to reduce morbidity, improve functional ability and enhance quality of life.