We should be screening all patients with severe mental illness for diabetes

Jun 14 2018 01:25 PM
We should be screening all patients with severe mental illness for diabetes

 

Diabetes is deadlier for people with severe mental illness that it is for mentally stable people, a new research has claimed.

According to the study conducted by the University of California, people with severe mental illness are more than twice as likely to have type 2 diabetes, with even higher risks among patients who are African American or Hispanic. Among more than 15,000 patients with severe mental illness, 28.1 per cent had Type 2 diabetes, the researchers reported in the study. In contrast, 12.2 per cent of the general population is estimated to have the disease.

The study, which was led by first author Christina Mangurian, followed her previous research that linked severe mental illness to low levels of testing for diabetes, low rates of HIV testing - despite a significantly higher likelihood of being HIV positive.

We were able to leverage Kaiser Permanente's extensive electronic health record data to improve our understanding of the burden of diabetes and prediabetes in people with severe mental illness and develop insights on how to address racial/ethnic and age disparities in this high-risk population," said senior author Julie Schmittdiel.

The results of the study indicate that we should be screening all patients with severe mental illness for diabetes," said Mangurian. "I view this as an opportunity to change how doctors think about health screening and to help prevent diabetes. By diagnosing prediabetes early, we can help patients make lifestyle modifications or start medicine so that they don't develop diabetes.

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