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Am J Public Health. 2015 Nov;105(11):2335-40. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2015.302830. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

Type 2 Diabetes and Anxiety Symptoms Among Women in New Delhi, India.

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Lesley Jo Weaver is with the Department of Anthropology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. S. V. Madhu is with the University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.



We explored the relationship between mental health and type 2 diabetes among women in New Delhi, India, in 2011.


We recruited a convenience sample of 184 diabetic women from 10 public and private clinics. They completed a finger-stick blood test and a questionnaire assessing demographic characteristics, depression and anxiety symptoms, and diabetes-related disabilities restricting their performance of daily tasks. A subsample of 30 women participated in follow-up qualitative interviews at their homes.


More than one quarter of our sample of diabetic women reported high levels of anxiety symptoms, whereas 18% reported high levels of depression symptoms. Anxiety symptoms were patterned according to recency of diabetes diagnosis, with 40% of women diagnosed less than 2 years before their interview reporting high anxiety symptom levels, as opposed to 23% of women diagnosed more than 2 years in the past. Depression and anxiety scores differed with respect to their relationship to recency of diagnosis, number of children, blood glucose level, and functional disabilities restricting performance of daily tasks.


Screening for anxiety among people with diabetes has been overlooked in the past. Anxiety appears more prevalent than depression, especially during the first 2 years of the disease.

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