When certain disorders trigger another unrelated disease, this alone will tell us the extent of how our tissues and organs are intricately connected with each other. It is deemed true between schizophrenia, a severe mental disorder that affects feelings, thoughts and behavior of a person; and diabetes, a blood sugar disorder.
People with schizophrenia die up to 30 years earlier than the general population. As the mortality rate goes up, the relative years left for those who suffer this condition is alarming.
People with schizophrenia die before mid-life crisis could even aggravate their mental situation. Deaths are usually related to physical disorders including heart attacks and strokes for which diabetes is a high risk.
To add to the already existing risk, antipsychotic drugs are known to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. The lifestyle that schizophrenics seem to follow put them in a lack of exercise and unhealthy diet.
The latest study by King’s College London provides a shift of perspective in the link between schizophrenia and diabetes. The study found that people with long-term schizophrenia are three times more likely than the general population to have diabetes.
The study demonstrates that people with long-term schizophrenia have higher level of glucose in the blood which means higher risk of diabetes.
Other factors which linked schizophrenia to diabetes may have been from shared genetic risks like premature birth and low birth; and shared environment risk factors like developing chronic stress of which the release of cortisol hormone poses risk for diabetes.
This study suggests that the diagnosis of diabetes must be at the onset of schizophrenia diagnosis.
See: New Evidence Linked Diabetes With Bacteria Contracted in Childhood