The prevalence and risk factors of the metabolic syndrome in inpatients with intellectual disability

B. Room*, O. Timmermans, P. Roodbol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Background The aim of this study is to explore the prevalence and influencing factors of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in people with intellectual disabilities (IDs) and behavioural problems in a Dutch special healthcare institution.

Methods This observational study was conducted from medical records of physical examinations, laboratory results, medication (history), ethnicity and length of stay, as well as from questionnaires about lifestyle and smoking habits. MetS was defined by using the criteria of the 2009 consensus guidelines. The questions in this study were about the prevalence of MetS over a 1-year period and exploration of the differences between the people with and without MetS to determine the factors associated with it.

Results The overall prevalence of MetS in the selected population of people with IDs and behavioural problems was 46%. The factors 'use of conventional antipsychotics', 'age', and a 'low nutrition score' increased the risk of developing MetS. Together, these variables determine 19% of the variance in the incidence of MetS.

Conclusions The study indicates a firm prevalence of MetS in a vulnerable population, whereby a minority of contributing factors was determined. Professionals should be particularly alert during the provision of antipsychotics, diet and exercise habits to prevent MetS when treating people with IDs and behavioural problems, and further studies are needed to explore the factors that contribute to the nascence and prevalence of MetS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-605
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2016


  • antipsychotics
  • cardiovascular risk
  • diet
  • exercise
  • intellectual disabilities
  • metabolic syndrome

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