The prevalence of the metabolic syndrome is increased in patients with schizophrenia compared with the general population. The strong interindividual differences in susceptibility to developing the metabolic syndrome suggests that the genetic makeup is a modulating factor. Part of the genetic puzzle can possibly be explained by variations in the gene coding for the adrenergic alpha-2a receptor (ADRA2A) because this receptor plays an important role in lipolysis. Three studies have found an association between the alpha-2a 1291-C/G polymorphism and antipsychotic induced weight gain, with conflicting results between whites and Asians. No studies have been published investigating the association between the 1291-C/G polymorphism and the metabolic syndrome. The primary objective of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the association between the ADRA2A 1291-C/G polymorphism and the metabolic syndrome in 470 patients using antipsychotic drugs. There was no significant association between carriership of the variant 1291-G allele and prevalence of the metabolic syndrome (odds ratio, 0.73; 95% confidence interval, 0.49Y1.15). Exploratory analysis showed an association between carriership of the variant 1291-G allele and a reduced prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in patients not currently using antipsychotics (odds ratio, 0.05; 95% confidence interval, 0.003Y0.97; P = 0.048). In conclusion, this study shows that the ADRA2A 1291-C/G polymorphism does not seem to be a strong predictor for long-term occurrence of the metabolic syndrome in antipsychotic using patients. Studies investigating this association using a prospective, or retrospective, design, as well as studies investigating this association in a nonpsychiatric population, are warranted
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