OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the associations between diabetes-related symptom distress, glucose metabolism status, and comorbidities of type 2 diabetes.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: This was a cross-sectional sample of 281 individuals with normal glucose metabolism (NGM), 181 individuals with impaired glucose metabolism (IGM), and 107 subjects with type 2 diabetes. We used the revised type 2 Diabetes Symptom Checklist (DSC-R) to assess diabetes-related symptom distress.
RESULTS: The total symptom distress score (range 0-100) was relatively low for diabetic subjects (mean +/- SD 8.4 +/- 9.4), although it was significantly different from that for subjects with IGM (6.5 +/- 7.1) and NGM (6.1 +/- 7.9) (F = 3.1, 2 d.f., P = 0.046). Ischemic heart disease was associated with elevated DSC-R scores on three subscales, whereas depression showed higher symptom distress levels across all DSC-R domains.
CONCLUSIONS: Worsening glucose metabolism is associated with increasing diabetes-related symptom distress. This relationship is attenuated by ischemic heart disease and particularly by depression.