Eating Disorders and Suicidal Ideation in Morbid and Non-morbid Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Cross-sectional Study

Background: Patients with chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) are at a higher risk of depression and psychiatric disorders, potentially leading to adverse outcomes. Eating disorders appear to be one of the factors contributing to T2DM and resulting in poor glycemic control and complications. Objectives: This study aimed to compare the prevalence of eating disorders and suicidal ideation between morbid and non-morbid T2DM patients. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire was conducted at the Yazd Diabetes Research Center from August 2021 to March 2022. A total of 232 T2DM patients aged between 30 and 65 were included in the study. Through convenience sampling, data were collected using structured questionnaires to assess eating disorders, suicidal ideation, and demographic information. Statistical analyses were performed to evaluate the associations between variables. Results: The study revealed that there was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of eating disorders between the two groups of T2DM patients (P = 0.083). However, upon considering age as a contributing factor, it was observed that younger patients afflicted with morbid T2DM exhibited a markedly higher incidence of eating disorders when compared to their non-morbid counterparts (P = 0.019). In contrast, a significant distinction emerged in terms of suicidal ideation between the two groups (P = 0.015), with patients suffering from morbid T2DM reporting elevated rates of contemplating suicide. Subgroup analyses further underscored a heightened prevalence of suicidal ideation among female patients and those aged 30 - 59 who were afflicted with morbid T2DM. Conclusions: This study highlights the importance of mental health assessment in T2DM patients, particularly those with morbid disease, younger age, higher Body Mass Index (BMI), and poor glycemic control. Early detection and intervention for eating disorders and suicidal ideation could significantly improve the overall well-being and outcomes of T2DM patients.