A new study by the University of Massachusetts finds that children who take antipsychotic drugs for the treatment of bipolar disorder, autism and other mental disorders may be at an increased risk of diabetes. Previously conducted research has linked “second-generation” antipsychotics to increased risk of developing diabetes amongst adults but this new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, raises concerns that medications may also lead to diabetes amongst children.
The study looked at records from health plans in the USA and found that children and teens who were on an antipsychotic drug had four times the risk of being diagnosed with diabetes than children who were not using psychiatric medication. The children and teens who used antipsychotics developed diabetes at a rate of slightly over three cases per 1,0000 children per year – compared to just under.08 cases per 1,0000 children who were not on these drugs.
These medications are often used to treat conditions such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and irritability and aggression amongst children with autism and occasionally for attention-deficit disorder (ADHD).
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