Diabetes mellitus in patients with mental disorders: Prevalence and associated factors

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Desola Shakirah Owolabi *
Baffa Adamu Gwaram
Femi Lukman Owolabi
Musa Usman Umar
Muhammad Murtala Umar
Abdullahi Musbahu
Abdullahi Shehu
Suleiman Yahaya Isah
(*) Corresponding Author:
Desola Shakirah Owolabi | edesola@yahoo.com


People with mental disorders have comorbid physical illnesses, particularly an increased risk of diabetes mellitus (DM), found in many psychiatric disorders; schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder. This elevated risk is associated with increased mortality, more so, as treatment of such medical conditions is not easily accessible by people with mental disorders. The aim of the paper is to determine the prevalence and associated factors for DM in patients with mental disorders in Kano, northwest Nigeria. In this cross-sectional study, one hundred and fifty-seven consecutive patients, aged 18 years and above, attending the outpatient psychiatry clinic of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital were recruited. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics questionnaires were completed. Height, weight and blood pressure were measured. Subsequently 3 mL of blood was taken using aseptic venepuncture technique and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels were detected, with a cutoff point of 6.5% used for diagnosis of DM. The age of the patients ranged between 18-79 years with a mean (SD) of 35.5 (±10.6) years. Majority of the patients 91 (58%) were female. Schizophrenia was the most common diagnosis (37.6%) The prevalence of DM was 24.2%. A statistically significant association was found between DM and age (P=0.021), duration of illness (P=0.016) and diagnosis of schizophrenia (P=0.027). DM is common in patients with mental disorders. Associated factors for DM in people with mental disorders include increasing age, prolonged duration of illness and a diagnosis of schizophrenia, the latter being an independent predictor of DM in people with mental disorders.

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