University of Oulu

Protsenko, M., Kerkelä, M., Miettunen, J., Auvinen, J., Järvelin, M.-R., Jones, P. B., Gissler, M., & Veijola, J. (2023). Insulin resistance and lipid levels in the middle-aged offspring of parents with severe mental illness. In Schizophrenia Research (Vol. 252, pp. 271–278). Elsevier BV.

Insulin resistance and lipid levels in the middle-aged offspring of parents with severe mental illness

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Author: Protsenko, Maria1; Kerkelä, Martta1; Miettunen, Jouko2,3;
Organizations: 1Department of Psychiatry, Research Unit of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Oulu, Finland
2Research Unit of Population Health, University of Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Finland
4Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, UK
5THL, Department of Knowledge Brokers, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
6University of Turku, Research Centre for Child Psychiatry, Turku, Finland
7Karolinska Institute, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Stockholm, Sweden
8Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-09-01


Background: Type 2 diabetes and dyslipidemias co-occur frequently with severe mental illnesses (SMI). However, less is known about serum insulin and lipid levels and prevalence of Insulin Resistance (IR) in offspring with familial risk for SMI.

Method: The Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 consists of 12,068 mothers, 11,068 fathers, and 12,231 children from the two northernmost provinces in Finland. At age 46 they participated in clinical examination including measurements of glucose, lipids, and IR and answered a questionnaire including information about their nutrition and physical activity. The information on parental SMI was obtained from the Hospital Discharge Register. Parents with SMI were those who had been treated in hospital for any psychiatric disorder during 1969–1982 (ICD-8 codes 290–315). The final study group included 334 (7.3 %) offspring who had a parent with SMI and 4249 (92.7 %) offspring in the comparison group.

Results: We did not find increased risk for disturbances in lipid levels, insulin levels, or IR levels between the study group (offspring of either parent with SMI) compared with the comparison group. All offspring, especially female offspring of either parent with SMI, had an increased risk for higher glucose levels and waist circumference. The results remained the same after excluding offspring with SMI.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that offspring of parents with SMI, especially female offspring, have partly increased risk for disturbances in cardiometabolic risk factors. Disturbances in glucose metabolism may have an effect via familial risk of severe mental illness.

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Series: Schizophrenia research
ISSN: 0920-9964
ISSN-E: 1573-2509
ISSN-L: 0920-9964
Volume: 252
Pages: 271 - 278
DOI: 10.1016/j.schres.2023.01.013
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3124 Neurology and psychiatry
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: NFBC 1966 received financial support from the University of Oulu Grant no. 24000692, Oulu University Hospital Grant no. 24301140, ERDF European Regional Development Fund Grant no. 539/2010 A31592.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (