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AIM: To identify determinants and outcomes of 4-year trajectories of anxiety symptoms in a community-based cohort with type 2 diabetes.
METHODS: Some 1091 participants in the Fremantle Diabetes Study-Phase II with type 2 diabetes completed the Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale at baseline and biennially for 4 years, in addition to psychological, biomedical and self-management measures. Latent growth mixture modelling identified trajectories of anxiety symptom severity, and regression models determined predictors of trajectory membership and associated outcomes.
RESULTS: Two distinct groups of participants were identified: those with continuously low-no anxiety symptoms (87%) and those with improving but consistently high anxiety symptoms (elevated anxiety; 13%). Higher HbA1c and BMI, macrovascular complications and a history of generalized anxiety and/or major depressive disorder increased the risk of elevated anxiety. Elevated anxiety did not predict change in health-related outcomes over time. Elevated anxiety and depression symptoms were highly comorbid and affected individuals displayed the most persistent anxiety symptoms.
CONCLUSIONS: A subgroup of individuals with type 2 diabetes are at risk of persistently elevated anxiety symptoms. Routine monitoring of the severity of psychological symptoms over time in this population should facilitate earlier and more intensive mood management.