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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2006 Oct;74(1):57-65. Epub 2006 Apr 11.

Psychosocial and non-psychosocial risk factors for the new diagnosis of diabetes in elderly women.

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School of Psychology, Queensland University of Technology, Australia.



Determine psychosocial variables associated with the new diagnosis of diabetes in elderly women. Examine whether variables remained significant predictors after controlling for non-psychosocial risk factors and the frequency of doctor visits.


A longitudinal cohort study was conducted using data from 10300 women who completed a survey in 1996 and 1999. The women were aged between 70 and 74 years of age in 1996. The were asked to provide self-reports on a number of psychosocial and non-psychosocial variables in 1996 and on whether they had been diagnosed for the first time with diabetes in the 3-year period. The relationships between the potential risk factors and new diagnosis of diabetes were examined using binary logistic regression analysis.


Univariate results showed that not having a current partner, having low social support and having a mental health index score in the clinical range were all associated with higher risks of being diagnosed with diabetes for the first time. However the multivariate results showed that only a mental health index score in the clinical range and not having a current partner provided unique prediction of being newly diagnosed with diabetes. Of the non-psychosocial variables measured, only having a high BMI and hypertension were associated with increased risks of new diagnosis, while there was also evidence of a U shaped relationship between alcohol consumption and new diagnosis. Even after adjusting for frequency of doctor visits and non-psychosocial risk factors, a mental health index in the clinical range proved to still be a significant risk factor.


A score on the mental health index that is within the clinical range is an independent risk factor for the new diagnosis of diabetes in elderly women.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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