Aims: To establish the prevalence of diabetes distress, perceived stress and depressive symptoms among adults with early-onset Type 2 diabetes, and to examine their association with socio-demographic and clinical characteristics. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was performed among individuals with Type 2 diabetes aged 20-45 years who were included in the Danish nationwide Danish Center for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes cohort between 2010 and 2016. The survey assessed diabetes distress (20-item Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale), perceived stress (10-item Perceived Stress Scale) and depressive symptoms (10-item short form of the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale Revised), as well as socio-demographic characteristics. Clinical data were collected from national health registers. Results: In total, 216/460 (47%) individuals (48% women) with Type 2 diabetes completed the survey. The median (IQR) age was 42 (38–44) years and the diabetes duration was 5 (3–7) years. In total, 24% of respondents reported high diabetes distress (Problem Areas in Diabetes Scale ≥ 40), 46% reported high perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale ≥ 18) and 41% reported elevated symptoms of depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale Revised ≥ 10). The prevalence of emotional problems was higher among women than men. Diabetes distress was higher among those prescribed non-insulin glucose-lowering drugs (vs. no glucose-lowering drugs), but was not associated with other clinical or socio-demographic characteristics. High perceived stress was associated with being unemployed and using antidepressant medication, and elevated depressive symptoms were associated with low education level, unemployment, living alone, having a psychiatric disorder and using antidepressant medication. Conclusion: We found a high prevalence of emotional problems among adults with early-onset Type 2 diabetes in Denmark. Health care for this group should focus on both physical health and psychosocial circumstances and should also address general as well as diabetes-specific emotional problems.
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