News | September 2022

Abstract Published at European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting

dQ&A is excited to share an abstract written by Evelyn Cox. She will be presenting at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) Annual Meeting, in Doniach Hall on September 22, 2022 at 10:15 CEST. 


 EASD Stockholm 2022, Abstract number 171 

Associations between generalised anxiety disorder, glycaemic management, and demographic factors among adults with diabetes in Europe.

 E. Cox, E. Ye, R. Wood, C. Pang; dQ&A, San Francisco, USA. 

Background and aims: Previous research shows that people with diabetes (PWD) have higher rates of mental health disorders, such as generalized anxiety, compared to the general population. While mental health support, such as therapy or psychiatric medication, has been shown to effectively address mental health concerns among PWD, extant research on the relationship between diabetes management and generalized anxiety is limited. Thus, the present study aims to investigate the relationship between diabetes management metrics and anxiety among PWD in Europe. 

Materials and methods: From October to November 2021, 3,077 adults living with diabetes in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom took an online survey in which they reported their most recent HbA1c, if they knew it (n=2,561). Glucose sensor users (n=2,011) also reported the percentage of time in a typical day spent in the target range (70-180 mg/dl), otherwise known as Time in Range (TIR). All respondents completed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder diagnostic tool (GAD-7), a 7-item validated measure assessing the severity of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The subsequent responses (66% type 1, 52% female) were scored and analyzed. Statistical testing was conducted using two-proportion Z-tests. 

Results: PWD in Italy and the UK report the highest rates of anxiety (63% and 51%, respectively), while PWD in the Netherlands report the lowest rates (39%). Across all European countries studied, women with diabetes are more likely to report experiencing anxiety than men with diabetes (57% vs. 39%, p<0.001). Anxiety is more prevalent among adults with diabetes under 45 years of age than those 45 and above (59% and 34%, p<0.001). PWD with HbA1c levels greater than 7% are significantly more likely than those with HbA1c levels less than or equal to 7% to have moderate (13% vs. 10%, p=0.03) or severe anxiety (6% vs. 4%, p=0.04). PWD using glucose sensors with TIR under 70% have significantly higher rates of moderate or severe anxiety relative to those who spend 70% or more of time in the target range (22% vs. 14%, p<0.001). 

Conclusion: This research reveals mental health disparities in nationality, gender, and age among PWD in Europe. Further, these findings highlight a link between the glycemic management of diabetes and anxiety severity. To both minimize anxiety and improve diabetes management, this study emphasizes the need for an integrated approach to mental health support and diabetes management, targeted specifically at at-risk demographic groups.