People with symptoms of psychosis have a higher risk of diabetes.

A pen ticking off a checklist

Effective management of diabetes can be complicated by other chronic conditions.  This analysis of World Health Organization’s survey looked for an association between symptoms of psychosis and the prevalence of diabetes.

Clinical question:

Are people with psychotic symptoms more likely to have diabetes?

The evidence:

The researchers interviewed a sample of patients from the WHO World Health Survey to establish whether they experienced any symptoms of psychosis.

The researchers found:

After controlling for different potential confounders, there was a clear increase in the probability of having diabetes as the number of psychotic symptoms increased.

Appraisal hints:

Users of this research should consider:

  • The representativeness of the sample.  Could responder bias have influenced the results?
  • How many people were interviewed.
  • Whether the definitions of “diabetes” and “psychotic symptoms” were adequate.


Nuevo R, Chatterji S, Fraguas D, Verdes E, Naidoo N, Arango C, Ayuso-Mateos JL. Increased risk of diabetes mellitus among persons with psychotic symptoms: results from the WHO World Health Survey. J Clin Psychiatry. 2011 Dec;72(12):1592-9.


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I am an information scientist with an interest in making knowledge from systematic research more accessible to people who need it. This means you. I've been attempting this in the area of Evidence-Based Health Care since 1995. So far the results have been mixed. For some reason we expected busy clinicians to search databases and appraise papers instead of seeing patients. We also expected publishers to make the research freely available to the people who paid for it.. Ha! Hence The National Elf service.

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