The risk for type 2 diabetes is elevated in young adults with severe mental illness, especially among ethnic minority groups, compared with middle-aged and older adults with severe mental illness and adults without the condition, according to findings published in Diabetic Medicine.
Jayati Das-Munshi, PhD, of the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and colleagues evaluated data from 588,408 adults registered to 98% of general practices in London to determine whether the relationship between severe mental illness and type 2 diabetes varies by ethnicity and age.
Participants aged 18 to 34 years had the strongest RR for the association of severe mental illness with type 2 diabetes; the association diminished with increasing age.
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes was lower in participants without severe mental illness (7.6%) compared with those with severe mental illness (16%) after adjustment for sex and area-level deprivation. Among participants with severe mental illness, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes was 3.3% in participants aged 18 to 34 years, 14.3% in participants aged 35 to 54 years and 27.5% in participants aged at least 55 years, after adjustment for sex and area-level deprivation.
Participants who were Bangladeshi, Indian or Pakistani had an elevated prevalence of type 2 diabetes and severe mental illness.
“We should consider routine screening and clinical management for type 2 diabetes in people with severe mental illness, even in relatively young populations (from age 18 years) and not just in people prescribed antipsychotic medications,” Das-Munshi told Endocrine Today. “In areas covering ethnically diverse populations, screening and clinical management of type 2 diabetes in severe mental illness should be considered routinely, perhaps at the level of primary care and in secondary care services covering these populations. This was a cross-sectional study, future research would benefit from longitudinal assessment of associations. The use of interventions in these populations to improve screening and management should be considered — it would be helpful to develop these in partnership with service users.” – by Amber Cox
Disclosure: Das-Munshi reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for a list of all other authors’ relevant financial disclosures.