Childhood trauma and glucose metabolism in patients with first-episode psychosis

Sarah Tosato, Chiara Bonetto, Simona Tomassi, Roberta Zanardini, Carlo Faravelli, Caterina Bruschi, Armando D'Agostino, Alessandra Minelli, Paolo Scocco, Antonio Lasalvia, Karin Furlato, Massimiliano Imbesi, Antonio Preti, Mirella Ruggeri, Massimo Gennarelli, GET UP GROUP, Luisella Bocchio-Chiavetto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the associations between first-episode psychosis (FEP) and metabolic abnormalities on one side, and childhood trauma (CT) and risk of developing psychosis on the other are both well established, evidence on the relationship between CT and metabolic dysregulation in terms of abnormal glucose metabolism is very limited. We tested whether, already at illness onset, FEP patients with a history of CT show dysregulation of a broad range of glucose metabolism markers. In particular, in 148 FEP patients we evaluated serum concentrations of c-peptide, insulin, plasminogen-activator-inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), resistin, visfatin, glucagon, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), gastric-inhibitor-peptide (GIP), leptin, and ghrelin. We also assessed CT with the Childhood Experience of Care and Abuse Questionnaire, and stressful life events (SLEs) with a semi-structured interview. Psychopathology, cannabis and tobacco habits, Body Mass Index (BMI) were recorded. Serum concentrations of markers were analyzed from peripheral blood. Ninety-five patients (56 % males, mean age 29.5) reported CT. Multivariate models showed that CT is associated only with the concentrations of c-peptide and insulin after adjusting for age, sex, BMI and SLEs. FEP patients who had experienced CT showed higher c-peptide and insulin serum concentrations. Our study reports that CT might be associated with the metabolic abnormalities in the first stage of psychosis, suggesting that a thorough anamnestic evaluation at psychosis onset that would include the history of CT could be helpful for clinicians in order to implement early programmes of healthy lifestyle education and to guide choice of therapeutic interventions for trauma.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Dec 3 2019


  • Childhood trauma
  • First episode psychosis
  • Glucose
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Metabolism


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