May 27, 2020

Young diabetics at risk for depression, eating disorders

A study by Columbia University has found that young type one diabetics are at risk for depression, anxiety and disordered eating.

The study looked at 150 patients aged 11 through 25 who had type I diabetes. It found that 11 percent had depression, 21 percent had anxiety, and 20 percent had disordered eating.

Screening for these mental health issues in teens should be done at “least yearly—and probably also at times when their disease appears to be unexplainably out of control,” said a coauthor of the study, Karen Soren, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Population and Family Health, and Director of Adolescent Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, in New York, NY.

This is not the first time that the mental toll of dealing with diabetes has been documented.

“Several years ago, the American Diabetes Association recommended that all youth with type 1 diabetes be screened for depression once per year,” explained Margaret Grey, DrPH, RN, Dean & Annie Goodrich Professor Yale University School of Nursing, New Haven, Conn.

These findings by Dr. Soren and colleagues suggest that patients should also be screened for anxiety and eating disorders.


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