Background: People with mental disorders have higher mortality rates in comparison with the general population. The occurrence of metabolic syndrome is greater in people with mental disorders than in the general population. A review of the research literature was carried out with regard to metabolic syndrome, its prevalence in the general population, and among those with psychiatric disorders. Materials and methods: Literature search was conducted with the ensuing search terms, keywords, and phrases—“metabolic syndrome,” “severe mental illness,” “mental disorder,” “schizophrenia,” “bipolar disorder,” “substance use,” “prevalence,” “alcohol dependence,” and “physical activity.” The search was executed in databases such as PubMed, ProQuest, and Google Scholar. Review results: Considerable debate exists regarding the causes for the high prevalence of metabolic disturbances in patients with mental disorders; however, gaps remain in relevant aspects, inspiring further studies in specific smaller groups of psychiatric patients to evaluate the impact of each variable on the risk for developing metabolic syndrome. From this review, we surmise that there are several factors that influence the amplified prevalence of metabolic syndrome among patients with mental disorders. Rather than a sole causative factor, there are multiple factors associated with metabolic syndrome, such as sociodemographic variables, clinical variables, and level of physical activity. Conclusion: The research literature supports the requisite for timely identification of metabolic syndrome in people with mental disorders and initiation of suitable interventions. Clinical significance: It is of paramount significance that guidelines pertinent to the Indian context are developed for the monitoring and screening of psychiatric patients for metabolic syndrome and physical health in general.
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