Mental disorders among persons with diabetes--results from the World Mental Health Surveys

J Psychosom Res. 2008 Dec;65(6):571-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2008.06.007. Epub 2008 Oct 29.


Objective: To estimate 12-month prevalence rate of mood, anxiety, and alcohol-use disorders among community samples of diabetic persons. We assess whether associations of specific mental disorders with diabetes are consistent across diverse countries after controlling for age and gender.

Research design and methods: Eighteen surveys of household-residing adults were conducted in two phases across 17 countries in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and the South Pacific (Part 1, N=85,088). Mental disorders, identified by the World Mental Health-Composite International Diagnostic Interview, included anxiety disorders (generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder/agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and social phobia), mood disorders (dysthymia and major depressive disorder), and alcohol abuse/dependence. Diabetes was ascertained by self-report (Part 2, N=42,697). Association was assessed by age-gender adjusted odds ratios.

Results: Risk of mood and anxiety disorders was slightly higher among persons with diabetes relative to those without: odds ratio of 1.38 for depression (95% CI=1.15-1.66) and 1.20 for anxiety disorders, (95 % CI=1.01-1.42), after adjusting for age and gender. Odds ratio estimates across countries did not differ more than chance expectation. Alcohol-use disorders were uncommon among persons with diabetes in most countries, and not associated with diabetes in pooled survey data.

Conclusions: Population sample surveys revealed mood and anxiety disorders occurred with somewhat greater frequency among persons with diabetes than those without diabetes. Prevalence of major depression among persons with diabetes was lower in the general population than suggested by prior studies of clinical samples. Strength of association did not differ significantly across disorders or countries.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Female
  • Global Health*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology
  • Panic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Panic Disorder / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology