CME: Mental Health & Diabetes

CME: Mental Health & Diabetes
Author Information (click to view)

Mark Peyrot, PhD

Professor & Chair of Sociology
Loyola University Maryland

Mark Peyrot, PhD, has indicated to Physician’s Weekly that he has served on the advisory panel for Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk, and Tethys. He has also served as a consultant for Calibra Medical, Eli Lilly, and Novo Nordisk, and has received grants/research aid from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Genentech, and Novo Nordisk.


Figure 1 (click to view)
Target Audience (click to view)

This activity is designed to meet the needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives(click to view)

Upon completion of the educational activity, participants should be able to:


  1. Discuss the link between diabetes and mental health comorbidities, including the link between depression, anxiety, and eating disorders; the importance of screening for mental health issues in patients with diabetes, and the importance of timely referral to mental health providers.

Method of Participation(click to view)

Statements of credit will be awarded based on the participant reviewing monograph, correctly answer 2 out of 3 questions on the post test, completing and submitting an activity evaluation.  A statement of credit will be available upon completion of an online evaluation/claimed credit form at  You must participate in the entire activity to receive credit.  If you have questions about this CME/CE activity, please contact AKH Inc. at

Credit Available(click to view)


CME Credit Provided by AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare and Physician’s Weekly’s.  AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Commercial Support(click to view)

There is no commercial support for this activity.

Disclosures(click to view)

It is the policy of AKH Inc. to ensure independence, balance, objectivity, scientific rigor, and integrity in all of its continuing education activities. The author must disclose to the participants any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in the activity or with the commercial supporter of this continuing education activity. Identified conflicts of interest are resolved by AKH prior to accreditation of the activity and may include any of or combination of the following: attestation to non-commercial content; notification of independent and certified CME/CE expectations; referral to National Author Initiative training; restriction of topic area or content; restriction to discussion of science only; amendment of content to eliminate discussion of device or technique; use of other author for discussion of recommendations; independent review against criteria ensuring evidence support recommendation; moderator review; and peer review.

Disclosure of Unlabeled Use & Investigational Product(click to view)

This educational activity may include discussion of uses of agents that are investigational and/or unapproved by the FDA. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings.

Disclaimer(click to view)

This course is designed solely to provide the healthcare professional with information to assist in his/her practice and professional development and is not to be considered a diagnostic tool to replace professional advice or treatment. The course serves as a general guide to the healthcare professional, and therefore, cannot be considered as giving legal, nursing, medical, or other professional advice in specific cases. AKH Inc. specifically disclaim responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through participant’s misunderstanding of the content.

Faculty & Credentials(click to view)


Keith D’Oria – Editorial Director
Discloses no financial relationships with pharmaceutical or medical product manufacturers.
Mark Peyrot, PhD
Mr. Peyrot has disclosed the following relevant financial relationships:
Speakers Bureau:  Novo Nordisk, Inc.;  Roche
Consultant:  AstraZeneca; Calibra Medical; Eli Lilly & Co.; Novo Nordisk, Inc.

Dorothy Caputo, MA, BSN, RN- CE Director of Accreditation
Discloses no financial relationships with pharmaceutical or medical product manufacturers.

AKH planners and reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.


Mark Peyrot, PhD (click to view)

Mark Peyrot, PhD

Professor & Chair of Sociology
Loyola University Maryland

Mark Peyrot, PhD, has indicated to Physician’s Weekly that he has served on the advisory panel for Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline, Novo Nordisk, and Tethys. He has also served as a consultant for Calibra Medical, Eli Lilly, and Novo Nordisk, and has received grants/research aid from AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, Genentech, and Novo Nordisk.


When mental health comorbidities of diabetes go undiagnosed and untreated, there can be significant consequences for patients. Efforts are needed to better identify and treat patients with diabetes with mental health comorbidities.

Studies have shown that patients living with diabetes are at increased risk for developing depression, anxiety, and eating disorders, among other mental health problems. “Mental health comorbidities of diabetes can compromise adherence to diabetes treatments, which in turn can increase risks for serious short- and long-term complications,” says Mark Peyrot, PhD. Failure to adhere to diabetes medication regimens can result in the development of cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness, amputations, and cognitive decline. It can also decrease quality of life and increase risks for premature death.

When mental health comorbidities of diabetes go undiagnosed and untreated, the financial cost to society and healthcare systems is substantial and health outcomes for patients are also impacted. “Among the wide-ranging comorbidities associated with diabetes, mental health issues are among the most overlooked,” Dr. Peyrot says. “This remains true despite the potential of mental health problems to compromise self-management and increase risks for serious complications.” Studies indicate that only about one-third of patients with these coexisting mental health conditions receive a diagnosis and treatment for them.

Depression, Anxiety, & Eating Disorders

Major depressive disorder affects nearly 7% of all adults in the United States and is more likely to be diagnosed in people with diabetes. “Diabetes is a risk factor for depression and depression is a risk factor for diabetes,” Dr. Peyrot says. Depression among patients with diabetes has been linked to poor self-care, poor glycemic control, more long-term complications, and a decreased quality of life. Fortunately, depression can be successfully treated in people with diabetes using collaborative care models that involve psychotherapy and antidepressants. These treatments can improve depressive symptoms and may have a positive effect on glycemic control.

Many patients with diabetes also have comorbid anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, or PTSD. “Some of these disorders may occur in conjunction with depression,” explains Dr. Peyrot. Some studies show that eating disorders are a problem for women with type 1 diabetes, but less is known about these conditions in men with diabetes. “Patients with disturbed eating behaviors often purge through insulin restriction,” says Dr. Peyrot. Like the other mental health conditions, eating disorders tend to persist and worsen over time and can lead to cascading complications and worsening disease.

Screenings Matter

According to standards of care from the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should be treated by a multidisciplinary medical team. Physicians are also recommended to routinely screen for psychosocial problems, including depression and diabetes-related distress, anxiety, eating disorders, and cognitive impairment (Table).

“Physicians often do not assess or manage mental health conditions until they become severe,” Dr. Peyrot says. “It’s important that physicians routinely assess diabetes-specific psychological factors that increase risk for mental health disorders and poor diabetes outcomes—such as fear of hypoglycemia and complications, difficulties with diabetes self-management, and lack of practical and emotional support—and support patients in their efforts to overcome these barriers to effective self-management. Despite these barriers, there are simple steps clinicians can take to assess and support their patients.”

When physician support is not sufficient to manage emerging psychological issues, formal screening is recommended, along with referral to or consultation with mental health specialists. In addition to patients with poor diabetes outcomes, studies suggest that diabetes patients who are at greatest risk of mental health issues are those who are considered most vulnerable within any chronic disease. This includes people with:

♦   Limited access to good healthcare.
♦   Limited resources and education.
♦   Limited family and social support.
♦   Multiple life stressors in addition to a chronic disease.

Referring Patients

“Many mental health comorbidities of diabetes are treatable, but it is critical that timely referrals are made to mental-health providers for diagnosis and treatment,” Dr. Peyrot says. He adds that clinicians should recognize the importance of screening patients for these conditions early so that they will be more likely to be referred to mental health teams at a time when they can provide effective treatment for those problems.

Considering the vast burden of diabetes, identifying and treating mental health comorbidities among patients with diabetes should be a priority, according to Dr. Peyrot. “The high prevalence and costs of mental health and diabetes, combined with evidence that behavioral factors are important for effective diabetes self-care, create an important opportunity,” he says. “Mental health screening and treatment need to be integrated into multidisciplinary diabetes care teams in order to improve outcomes and decrease healthcare expenditures.”

Readings & Resources (click to view)

Ducat L, Philipson LH, Anderson BJ. The mental health comorbidities of diabetes. JAMA. 2014;312:691-692. Available at:

American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2014. Diabetes Care. 2014;37(suppl):S14-S80.

Kessler RC, ChiuWT, Demler O, Merikangas KR, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2005;62:617-627.

Egede LE, Zheng D, Simpson K. Comorbid depression is associated with increased health care use and expenditures in individuals with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2002;25:464-470.

Anderson BJ, Mansfield AK. Psychological issues in the treatment of diabetes. In: Beaser RS, ed. Joslin’s Diabetes Deskbook. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Joslin Diabetes Center; 2007:641-661.


  1. Sorry, I forgot to mention that the team should also include an psychologist and an exercise person, to improve in the self care management development and maintenance.

  2. Mental health issues are a huge burden for people with diabetes and their families. One item that can make the difference is the person announcing the diagnosis to the patient & family.

    Some PCPs announce it like:
    ” it is dooms day, you have a terrible disease and your life will never be normal & you will have horrible complications, because DM is progressive and bad, and blah, blah….
    That approach is setting the person in a road of gloom and misery.
    And it was very much like that in the last century.

    Now we know that with aggresive & early competent care, we can stop DM 1 or 2 from progressing and can be controlled.

    We should be able to give the news in a more positive way, & to move to the team to include an Internist, RD CDE, RN CDE, Podiatrist, Pharmacist, Ophtalmologist to the circle of care. instead of misleading the poor newly Dx flounder around with missinformation given by some tech that has no clue of the reality of mismanagement.

    • Well said!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

sixteen + thirteen =