|dc.description.abstract||Individuals with schizophrenia are at an increased risk for developing diabetes and experience rates of diabetes two to five times higher than the general population. The limited number of studies that have been conducted in the area of schizophrenia and comorbid diabetes have been inconsistent in demonstrating whether individuals with schizophrenia and comorbid diabetes differ significantly in terms of personal factors,
functional and clinical characteristics, social involvement and service utilization. Nor have these studies consistently shown the impact of comorbid schizophrenia and diabetes on quality of life. An examination of the various measures that differentiate individuals with schizophrenia and comorbid diabetes from those without diabetes were explored.
The prevalence of diabetes among persons with schizophrenia was 4.75%. Persons with comorbid diabetes differed on a number of personal factors, functional and clinical characteristics, social involvement and service utilization. Of note, individuals with comorbid diabetes were more likely to be female, have a BMI in the obese/overweight range, were more likely to be married/partnered and more likely to be unemployed. They were also more likely to experience cognitive deficits, impaired self-care, fewer positive symptoms, a greater number of physical health problems and medical co-morbidities than individuals without diabetes. Individuals with diabetes were more likely to experience more lifetime psychiatric admissions and were admitted for longer periods of time. With
respect to quality of life, individuals with diabetes were more likely to have poor-self rated health (0R=1.61), more likely to report having a confidant [1.27) and more likely to be unemployed (0R=2.64).
The low prevalence of diabetes is consistent with under-detection of diabetes among individuals with schizophrenia and must be investigated and remedied. Addressing diabetes before full on-set through lifestyle interventions and pharmacotherapy should be further explored. The underlying reasons for the disparities [i.e. poor self-rated health,
service utilization, reduced self-care abilities) found should be the focus of future research to determine methods to reduce the impact of diabetes on individuals with schizophrenia.||