People with mental illnesses have higher risk of type 2 diabetes

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In a new study from the University of Southern Denmark, researchers found that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes (T2D) is elevated in people with a psychiatric disorder compared with the general population.

Psychiatric disorders are common, impair the quality of life and are associated with increased death risk.

This excess mortality is caused in part by more frequent suicides and accidents, but also by an elevated risk of developing physical conditions known to be linked to mental health problems such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.

Diabetes is an increasingly common disease throughout the world and estimates suggest that 6% to 9% of the global general population are currently affected.

Previous research has found that the prevalence of T2D is higher in people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and major depression compared to the general population.

In the study, the team conducted an in-depth search of four electronic databases of scientific papers and found 32 systematic reviews based on 245 unique primary studies.

There were 11 categories of disorders: schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression, substance use disorder, anxiety disorder, eating disorder, intellectual disability, psychosis, sleep disorder, dementia, and a ‘mixed’ group that comprised different types of psychiatric disorders.

The study found that people with a sleep disorder had the highest rates of T2D with 40% of people having the disease while its prevalence among individuals with other psychiatric disorders was 21% (binge eating disorder), 16% (substance use disorder), 14% (anxiety disorders), 11% (bipolar disorder), and 11% (psychosis).

Prevalence of T2D was lowest among people with an intellectual disability with 8% of individuals having the disease.

In each case, these rates are as high or higher than the 6-9% level of T2D found in the general population.

The team concluded that people with any of the examined psychiatric disorders are more likely to have T2D than the general population.

But more refined comparisons should be made between prevalence estimates in the future to better account for differences in populations groups, study settings and the broad range of years as well as methods used to ascertain T2D.

If you care about type 2 diabetes, please read studies about Mediterranean diet may help people with diabetes delay meds and findings of vitamin D and estrogen combo may protect against diabetes, heart disease.

For more information about diabetes and your health, please see recent studies about walking before dinner cannot lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes and results showing that type 2 diabetes: Small reduction in alcohol, big reduction in heart disease risk.

The study is published in Diabetologia. One author of the study is Nanna Lindekilde.

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