Severely obese people with diabetes experience impaired emotional well-being associated with socioeconomic disadvantage: Results from diabetes MILES - Australia

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Journal Article
Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 2013, 101 (2), pp. 131 - 140
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Aim: To examine the emotional well-being of severely obese Australians with type 2 diabetes, along with markers of social and economic disadvantage, using the Diabetes MILES - Australia dataset. Methods: Diabetes MILES - Australia was a national survey of 3338 adults with diabetes that focused on psychosocial issues; 1795 had type 2 diabetes and reported BMI. We extracted data regarding depression (PHQ-9), anxiety (GAD-7), obesity- and diabetes-related comorbidities, and demographics. The severely obese group (SOG) (BMI ≥ 35; median BMI = 41.6) constituted 530 (30%) of the type 2 diabetes respondents and was matched with 530 controls (CG) (BMI < 35; median BMI = 28.2). Within- and between-group trends were examined. Results: The SOG had higher depression scores (median (IQR) 6.0 (3-12)) than CG (5.0 (2-10)); p< 0.001, and were more likely to report moderate-severe depressive symptoms (37% versus 27%; p< 0.001). The groups did not differ on anxiety. The SOG, compared with the CG, were more likely to live alone (21% versus 17%), receive a disability pension (21% versus 15%), earn ≤$40.000/year (51% versus 41%; all p< 0.05), and were less likely to be employed (46% versus 53%), university or higher educated (17% versus 26%), or have health insurance (50% versus 60%; all p≤ 0.01). Moderate-severe depression was positively associated with cumulative stressors of severe obesity, socioeconomic disadvantage, and obesity- and diabetes-related comorbidity. Conclusions: Severely obese people living with type 2 diabetes have cumulative stressors related to health, disability, demographic and socioeconomic factors, and impaired emotional well-being. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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