MHW: Research Links Diabetes To Risk of MH Hospitalization In Young Adults

NYAPRS Note: More on the circular relationship between diabetes and behavioral health conditions. While it has been previously suggested that depression often precedes diabetes (see here), a new study also shows that many young people with diabetes are more likely to be hospitalized for BH conditions.

Research Links Diabetes To Risk Of MH Hospitalization In Young Adults

Mental Health Weekly August 1, 2016

Young people with diabetes were four times more likely to be hospitalized for mental health or substance use treatment in 2014 than were young adults without the disease, according to a recent study by researchers at the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) that shines a harsh light on the psychological toll the disease can take on this group, Kaiser Health News reported July 22.

For every 1,000 young adults aged 19 through 25 who had diabetes, 37 were hospitalized for mental health/substance use, compared to nine young adults without diabetes. The study also found the incidence of such hospitalizations is on the rise for these patients.

The 2014 rate was 68 percent higher than two years earlier, when the number of mental health/substance use hospitalizations per 1,000 for that group was 22.

No other age group showed such high rates of hospitalization for mental health or substance use, according to the study.

The rate for children up to age 18 with diabetes was second highest, at 21 per 1,000 in 2014. One possible contributor to the rise in hospitalizations may be the health law, which permitted young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26, said Amanda Frost, a senior researcher at the HCCI, who worked on the recently published study. HCCI researchers will examine the trend more closely in future work, she said.