Document Type



Brain and Mind Institute; Internal Medicine (East Africa)


Introduction: Lifestyle factors such as smoking, alcohol use, suboptimal diet, and inadequate physical activity have been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. There are limited data on these risk factors among patients with psychosis in low- and middle-income countries.

Objectives: This study aimed to establish the prevalence of lifestyle cardiovascular risk factors, and the 10-year cardiovascular risk scores and associated factors in patients with psychosis compared to controls at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital in Eldoret, Kenya.

Methods: A sample of 297 patients with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar mood disorder; and 300 controls matched for age and sex were included in this analysis. A study specific researcher-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on demographics, antipsychotic medication use, smoking, alcohol intake, diet, and physical activity. Weight, height, abdominal circumference, and blood pressure were also collected to calculate the Framingham 10-year Cardiovascular Risk Score (FRS), while blood was drawn for measurement of glucose level and lipid profile. Pearson’s chi-squared tests and t-tests were employed to assess differences in cardiovascular risk profiles between patients and controls, and a linear regression model was used to determine predictors of 10-year cardiovascular risk in patients.

Results: Compared to controls, patients with psychosis were more likely to have smoked in their lifetimes (9.9% vs. 3.3%, p = 0.006) or to be current smokers (13.8% vs. 7%, p = 0.001). Over 97% of patients with psychosis consumed fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables per week; 78% engaged in fewer than three days of vigorous exercise per week; and 48% sat for more than three hours daily. The estimated 10-year risk of CVD was relatively low in this study: the FRS in patients was 3.16, compared to 2.93 in controls. The estimated 10-year cardiovascular risk in patients was significantly associated with female sex (p = 0.007), older patients (p < 0.001), current tobacco smoking (p < 0.001), and metabolic syndrome (p < 0.001).

Conclusion: In the setting of Eldoret, there is suboptimal physical exercise and intake of healthy diet among patients with psychosis and controls. While the estimated risk score among patients is relatively low in our study, these data may be useful for informing future studies geared towards informing interventions to promote healthy lifestyles in this population.

Publication (Name of Journal)

BMC Psychiatry


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.