Department of Economics and Business Economics

Loneliness in psychotic illness and its association with cardiometabolic disorders

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Johanna C Badcock, Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Medical Research Foundation Building, Perth, WA 6000, Australia. Electronic address: Johanna.badcock@uwa.edu.au.
  • ,
  • Andrew Mackinnon, Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia; Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Electronic address: andrew.mackinnon@biostats.com.au.
  • ,
  • Anna Waterreus, Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Medical Research Foundation Building, Perth, WA 6000, Australia. Electronic address: Anna.Waterreus@uwa.edu.au.
  • ,
  • Gerald F Watts, Cardiometabolic Service, Department of Cardiology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, WA 6000, Australia; School of Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Medical Research Foundation Building, Perth, WA 6000, Australia. Electronic address: Gerald.Watts@uwa.edu.au.
  • ,
  • David Castle, St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, VIC, Australia; Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC 3052, Australia. Electronic address: David.CASTLE@svha.org.au.
  • ,
  • John J McGrath
  • Vera A Morgan, Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Medical Research Foundation Building, Perth, WA 6000, Australia; Neuropsychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, Division of Psychiatry, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, The University of Western Australia, Medical Research Foundation Building, Perth, WA 6000, Australia. Electronic address: Vera.Morgan@uwa.edu.au.

Loneliness is an established risk factor for poor cardiometabolic health. People with psychotic disorders experience high rates of both cardiometabolic disease and loneliness, but how these factors are associated is poorly understood. Thus, using data from the second Australian National Survey of Psychosis we examined whether loneliness is associated with the likelihood of cardiometabolic disorder in psychotic illness. Loneliness was assessed using a single-item measure, with a 4-point scale (not lonely; lonely occasionally; some friends but lonely for company; socially isolated and lonely) whilst cardiometabolic status was assessed in terms of the criteria used to determine metabolic syndrome (elevated waist circumference, elevated triglycerides, reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and elevated fasting glucose). Logistic regression was employed to examine whether loneliness was associated with metabolic syndrome status, and its individual components, with and without adjustment for confounding variables. Increased loneliness was associated with an increased risk of metabolic syndrome in people with psychosis (OR 1.21, 95% CI 1.08-1.36, p < .001) and to the risk of elevated waist circumference (p < .01), elevated triglycerides (p < .05) and reduced high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (p < .05). Notably, these associations largely persisted when controlling for a range of covariates. Feeling lonely is significantly associated with metabolic syndrome, and dyslipidemia specifically, in people with psychotic disorders. These data suggest that the potential benefits of interventions to reduce loneliness in psychosis may extend to cardiovascular as well as psychosocial functioning, and should be explored in future research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume204
Pages (from-to)90-95
Number of pages6
ISSN0920-9964
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • Cardiovascular functioning, Loneliness, Metabolic syndrome, Psychotic disorder, Social isolation

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 133205597