Aims: To determine the prevalence and factors associated with depression and anxiety among people with and without diabetes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Methods: A cross-sectional questionnaire-based study collecting demographic and mental health data from 2166 participants living in the Arab Gulf region (568 with diabetes, 1598 without diabetes). Depression and anxiety were assessed using the 9-item Patient Health Questionnaire and the 7-item Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale, respectively. Results: The prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms were 61% and 45%, in people with diabetes (PWD) and 62% and 44%, respectively, in people without diabetes. PWD who have had their diabetes visit canceled by the clinic were more likely to report depression and anxiety symptoms than those without diabetes (odds ratio [95% confidence interval]: 1.37 [1.02, 1.84] and 1.37 [1.04, 1.80], for depression and anxiety; respectively). PWD who had no method of telecommunication with their health care providers (HCP) during the pandemic, PWD with A1C of ≥ 10%, women, employees (particularly HCPs), students, unmarried individuals, and those with lower income were more likely to report depression and/or anxiety symptoms (all P < 0.01). Fear of acquiring the coronavirus infection; running out of diabetes medications; or requiring hospitalization for hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia, or diabetic ketoacidosis; and lack of telecommunication with HCPs were all associated with significantly higher odds of having depression and anxiety symptoms among PWD. Conclusions: The remarkably high prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among subgroups of PWD, calls for urgent public health policies to address mental health during the pandemic and reestablish health care access for PWD.
- mental health
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism