Mental Health Issues Can Plague Families of Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

 Mental Health Issues Can Plague Families of Kids With Type 1 Diabetes

By By Sydney Murphy HealthDay Reporter, HealthDay Reporter

(Health Day)

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Children with type 1 diabetes and their closest relatives are more likely to experience mental health issues than people without the disease, report by Swedish researchers.

“Many clinicians think that diabetes in a child negatively affects the mental health of the patient and family members,” said study co-author Agnieszka Butwicka, an assistant professor at the Karolinska Institute in Solna. . “But we think the answer is not that simple. Our study shows that there may also be a genetic component behind this association.

The researchers say that the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes’ current screening guidelines for children with type 1 diabetes do not adequately address the needs of family members, who are also at risk for the issues. in mental health. The researchers say it’s unclear why type 1 diabetes and mental health issues in the family are linked.

The study involved nearly 3.5 million people born in Sweden between 1973 and 2007 along with their parents, full and half siblings, and cousins. More than 20,000 were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in childhood, and researchers found that the risk of depression was almost twice as high and the risk of anxiety and stress-related disorders was 1.6 times higher than those without the disease.

In addition, their parents and full siblings have a slightly higher risk for anxiety and stress-related disorders. Half siblings and cousins ​​have little or no higher risk, the study found.

“These results have high clinical relevance because it means that therapeutic intervention should also include close family members, not just patients,” Butwicka said in an institute news release.

The results suggest that genetics may be a factor because parents, children and full siblings share more genetic material (about 50%) than half siblings (about 25%), and cousins ​​(less than 12.5%), the researchers said.

Because this is an observational study, it does not prove what causes the associations.

“Further studies are needed to fully understand the underlying genetic and environmental contributions that drive psychiatric disorders in type 1 diabetes,” said corresponding author Shengxin Liu, a doctoral student at the Karolinska Institute.

SOURCE: Swedish Research Council, Karolinska Institute, August 1, 2022

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