Author Interviews, Diabetes, Genetic Research, JAMA, Mental Health Research, Schizophrenia / 03.04.2019 Interview with: Prof Sabine Bahn MD PhD MRCPsych FRSB Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research Jakub Tomasik, PhD Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology University of Cambridge What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?  Response: Schizophrenia patients are at increased risk of impaired glucose metabolism, yet the comorbidity between the two conditions cannot be fully explained by known risk factors such as obesity, smoking, stress or antipsychotic medication. Previous family and genome-wide studies have suggested that the co-occurrence between schizophrenia and impaired glucose metabolism might be due to shared genetic factors, as exemplified by increased risk of diabetes in first-degree relatives of schizophrenia patients, but the biological mechanisms underlying this association remain unknown. We examined the association between insulin resistance, schizophrenia polygenic risk and response to treatment in 58 drug-naive schizophrenia patients and 58 matched healthy individuals while controlling for a range of demographic (age, gender, body mass index), lifestyle (smoking, alcohol and cannabis use) and clinical (psychopathology scores, treatment drug) factors. We found that insulin resistance, a key feature contributing to the development of type 2 diabetes, significantly correlated with schizophrenia polygenic risk score in patients, with higher genetic risk of schizophrenia associated with increased insulin resistance. Furthermore, we found that patients with higher insulin resistance were more likely to switch medication during the first year of treatment, which implies lower clinical response.  (more…)
AHA Journals, Author Interviews, Diabetes, Heart Disease / 06.05.2015

Michelle Schmiegelow MD, PhD Student Gentofte Hospital Copenhagen Area, Capital Region, Interview with: Michelle Schmiegelow MD, PhD Student Gentofte Hospital Copenhagen Area, Capital Region, Denmark

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Dr. Schmiegelow: Use of cardiovascular risk stratification models is highly encouraged by U.S. and European guidelines in order to prevent cardiovascular disease (CVD). Individuals with insulin resistance are likely to progress to type 2 diabetes, but measures of insulin resistance are not included in current risk stratification models, although this might improve prediction of CVD in patients without diabetes. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether measures of insulin resistance would improve CVD risk predictions based solely on traditional CVD risk factors in postmenopausal women without existing CVD or diabetes. The main outcome was risk of developing CVD, defined as non-fatal and fatal coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, within ten years, and the measures of insulin resistance considered were fasting serum glucose, fasting serum insulin, “homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance“ (HOMA-IR) and the ratio of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (TG/HDL-C). From the Women’s Health Initiative Biomarkers studies we identified 15,288 postmenopausal women with no history of CVD, atrial fibrillation, or diabetes at baseline (included 1993–1998), who over a mean follow-up of 9.2 years (standard deviation 1.9 years) had 894 first CVD events (5.8%). (more…)