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Circulating lipids associate with future weight gain in individuals with an at-risk mental state and in first-episode psychosis

By Santosh Lamichhane, Alex M. Dickens, Partho Sen, Heikki Laurikainen, J. Suvisaari, Tuulia Hyotylainen, Oliver D Howes, Jarmo Hietala, Matej Oresic

Posted 03 Feb 2020
medRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.01.30.20019711

Patients with schizophrenia have a lower than average life span, largely due to the increased prevalence of cardiometabolic co-morbidities. Identification of individuals with psychotic disorders with a high risk of rapid weight gain, and the associated development of metabolic complications, is an unmet need as regards public health. Here, we applied mass spectrometry-based lipidomics in a prospective study comprising 48 controls (CTR), 44 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients and 22 individuals at clinical-high-risk (CHR) for psychosis, from two study centers (Turku/Finland and London/UK). Baseline serum samples were analyzed by lipidomics, while body mass index (BMI) was assessed at baseline and after 12 months. We found that baseline triacylglycerols with low double bond counts and carbon numbers were positively associated with the change in BMI at follow-up. In addition, a molecular signature comprised of two triacylglycerols (TG(48:0) and TG(45:0)), was predictive of weight gain in individuals with a psychotic disorder, with an area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of 0.74 (95% CI: 0.60-0.85). When independently tested in the CHR group, this molecular signature predicted said weight change with AUROC = 0.73 (95% CI: 0.61-0.83). We conclude that molecular lipids may serve as a predictor of weight gain in psychotic disorders in at-risk individuals, and may thus provide a useful marker for identifying individuals who are most prone to developing cardiometabolic co-morbidities.

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