Between 2001 and 2008, the prevalence of type 1 diabetes remained relatively stable, which is consistent with findings of a recent report based on data from Australia’s National Diabetes Register suggesting that the incidence of type 1 diabetes is increasing among children but not among young adults (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare). In contrast, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increased by 36% in the adult Australian population, which is consistent with previously reported trends in non-specific diabetes (Atlantis et al., 2009b). On average, the prevalence of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes was 1.3 to 2.4-fold higher for people with psychopathology by any definition (psychological distress, antidepressants and/or anti-anxiety medications) after adjustments for socio-demographic covariates. The absence of a significant interaction across surveys implies that the increased odds of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in people with psychopathology were consistent over the 8-year period. Furthermore, the increased odds of diabetes, particularly of type 2 diabetes, were partially explained by unhealthy lifestyle behaviors supporting findings and interpretations from previous prospective cohort studies (Atlantis et al., 2010; Chiu et al., 2010; Wilkins and Sambamoorthi, 2011). This suggests that effective lifestyle interventions could help mitigate the persistent excess burden of diabetes and comorbid psychopathology, and that people with type 2 diabetes are likely to benefit more than those with type 1 diabetes. However, lifestyle interventions are difficult to implement in practice (Atlantis et al., 2009a). Trials are needed to inform policy and decision-making about the organization and delivery of multidisciplinary interventions for psychopathology, diabetes, and unhealthy lifestyle behaviors.
The strengths and innovations of this study include the analysis of trends across three large and representative population-based surveys, which used identical...
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