Antipsychotics and diabetes: An age-related association

Ariel Hammerman, Jacob Dreiher, Shmuel H. Klang, Hanan Munitz, Arnon D. Cohen, Margalit Goldfracht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Previous studies have reported an association between antipsychotic medications and diabetes. OBJECTIVE: To explore the association between antipsychotic medications and diabetes in patients of different ages. METHODS: A retrospective analysis of a large health maintenance organization's drug claim database (3.7 million members) was performed. All patients treated with antipsychotic drugs during 1998-2004 were identified. Patients with diabetes were defined by a record of antidiabetic drug use during 2004. The prevalence of diabetes in different age groups treated with antipsychotics was compared with the prevalence of diabetes among enrollees in the same age groups not treated with antipsychotics. RESULTS: Among 82.754 patients treated with antipsychotics, the association between diabetes and consumption of antipsychotics was strongest in the younger age groups and decreased with increasing age: for patients aged 0-24 years, OR 8.9 (95% CI 7.0 to 11.3); 25-44 years, OR 4.2 (95% CI 3.8 to 4.5): 45-54 years. OR 1.9 (95% CI 1.8 to 2.1): 55-64 years. OR 1.3 (95% CI 1.2 to 1.4); and 65 years or older. OR 0.93 (95% CI 0.9 to 1.0). However, the risk associated with atypical antipsychotics was lower than the risk associated with typical antipsychotics, with ORs ranging from 0.7 in patients 0-24 years old to 0.3 in those 65 years or older. CONCLUSIONS: Antipsychotic drug use was associated with diabetes mellitus. This association was stronger in younger patients. In older adults, the difference was much smaller and, in some cases, there was no association. A lower risk was associated with atypical agents, as compared with typical antipsychotics. Clinicians should be aware that young adults treated with antipsychotics are at increased risk for diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1316-1322
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Antipsychotics
  • Diabetes
  • Neuroleptics
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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