Juan Carlos Bazo Alvarez
I’m a Mental Health Data Scientist with a long-standing experience in epidemiological research in primary care and community settings, and with a particular interest in underserved or unrepresented populations. I also work on improving quantitative methods for mental health research.
University College London / Other associated academic organisations: NIHR Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) North Thames
Award Title: Mental Health Fellowship
Start Date: 1st April 2022
End Date: 31st March 2024
Location of Research: England (with particular emphasis on underserved regions)
Collaborating Organisations: Keele University, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, University of Aberdeen
Project Title: Health inequalities in People with seveRe mental Illnesses: Impact of antipsychOtic tReatments and social Inequalities on long Term phYsical health (PRIORITY)
Brief Summary: People with severe mental illness (SMI), such as schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder, are at greater risk of developing diabetes, heart disease and strokes. As a result, they, on average, die 10-15 years younger than people who do not have these conditions. They are often prescribed antipsychotics for many years to help manage their condition. These drugs can increase body weight and alter blood pressure and cholesterol levels when taken for long periods. This, in turn, might partly explain why they are at higher risk of diabetes, heart disease and strokes. The study aims to examine the long-term effect of antipsychotics on physical health in people-with-SMI and how this might depend on the patient’s age, gender, ethnicity and level of deprivation.
Methods: Using electronic primary care records from more than 200,000 persons, I will analyse long-term changes in antipsychotic prescription patterns (e.g., continuous prescription, discontinuation, and the antipsychotic type and dose variation) during the observation period (2000-2019). Then, I will compare their body weight, blood pressure and cholesterol before and after the initiation of antipsychotic treatment. This will allow me to understand the long-term impact of antipsychotics on physical health (e.g., who develops diabetes or cardiovascular diseases). I will also examine how prescription patterns and impact on physical health may change by age, gender, social deprivation and ethnicity.
Benefits anticipated: Clinical findings will help patients and their doctors understand how antipsychotics can affect physical health in the long term and inform future treatment decisions.