Mental Disorders Impede Diabetes Care

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Patients with schizophrenia and major mood disorders have higher rates of type 2 diabetes, compared with patients without mental illness. New research has found, however, that these patients often comprehend less about their disease.

Both disorders affect cognitive function and can impede normal attentiveness, learning, and motivations—essentials in the self-care of type 2 diabetes. The researchers also learned that patients with mental illness and diabetes can improve if they are given specific instructions about diabetes and how to cope. (The findings were reported in Psychosomatics, September 2005.)