A study found that diabetics using glucose sensors reported higher levels of anxiety if their blood glucose level was often outside the target range than those whose level was within the target range.
A survey of adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes in six European countries found that patients from Italy and the United Kingdom had higher levels of anxiety, compared to those in the other four countries.
“Our survey results underscore the exposure of adults with diabetes to generalized anxiety.”
The study was conducted by dQ&A – a social enterprise focused on diabetes, based in San Francisco.
The findings are presented at this year’s European Association for the Study of Diabetes annual meeting in Stockholm, which will take place between 19 and 23 September.
Researchers conducted an online survey to collect data on demographics, anxiety, and measures of blood sugar management in 3,077 adults from the dQ&A European Research Committee, of whom 66% live with type 1 diabetes, and 34% live with type 2 diabetes. .
The panel covers France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom, and the data was collected between October and November 2021.
Respondents were asked about their most recent level of HbA1c – a measure of blood sugar control – and those who used glucose sensors (2,011) were asked about the percentage of time in a typical day they spent in their target blood sugar range (between 70 and 180) mg/dL).
All respondents completed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Questionnaire (GAD-7) to examine and measure anxiety severity.
The analyzes found that people with diabetes living in Italy and the United Kingdom reported the highest rates of anxiety (63% and 51%, respectively), while those in the Netherlands reported the lowest rates (39%).
It also found that individuals with higher HbA1c over the past few months (more than 7%) were more likely than those with lower HbA1c (equivalent to or less than 7%) to report moderate anxiety (13% vs 10%) or severe anxiety. (6) % vs. 4%).
In addition, responders using glucose sensors who spent less than 70% of a normal day in the target blood sugar range reported twice the rate of moderate or severe anxiety compared with those who spent 70% or more of their time in the target range (22% versus 14%). %).
dQ&A Research Analyst Evelyn Cox, who led the analyzes, said: “Our survey results confirm the exposure of adults with diabetes to generalized anxiety.
“In particular, women with diabetes and those under the age of 45 may be at higher risk of developing anxiety, underlining the need for greater support.
“Our findings also suggest a link between glycemic management and anxiety severity,” Ms Cox said.
“This underscores the need for a more integrated approach to diabetes management and mental health support to reduce anxiety and improve measures of blood glucose that target high-risk groups.”