Body mass index (BMI) in newly admitted child and adolescent psychiatric inpatients.Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry 2005; 29(4):511-5PN
Obesity is a major problem among children and adolescents suffering from chronic mental illness. State-of-the-art measures such as body mass index (BMI) and growth-related weight charts are now readily available to clinicians and investigators interested in psychotropic drug-associated weight gain in the pediatric population. However, no reports that utilize such measures in large series of children and adolescents with psychiatric disorders are available.
The authors employed the Nutstat module of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Epi Info software to assess BMI in a psychiatry inpatient child and adolescent population in Central Virginia. The authors also developed a scoring system to relate psychotropic administration to BMI.
Children and adolescents with chronic mental illness had greater BMI measurements than the general pediatric population. Our scoring system found a relationship between antipsychotic drug administration and increased BMI that almost reached a level of significance (p=0.062).
The present methodology using absolute weight to assess psychotropic drug-associated increase in body weight for children and adolescents is unsatisfactory. The authors offer a new and convenient methodology to correct this problem.