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Diabetes and Mental Illness
Diabetes is a Serious Health Risk
Continuity of Primary Care Saves Lives
Mental illness is not “just another co-morbidity.” The impact on worsening diabetes of any one behavioral health disorder is generally as great or greater than having 3 or even 4 other medical comorbidities
Persons with Serious Mental Illness (SMI), Non SMI Mental Illness and dual diagnosis (a mental health and substance abuse diagnosis) have higher rates of diabetes, pre-diabetes and complicated diabetes at baseline; and they are more likely to develop worse diabetes in follow up years.
The one system of care variable that changes the risk of developing worse diabetes relates to continuity of primary care.  Fragmentation of primary care at baseline and moving from continuous to fragmented care in follow-up is associated with worse diabetes, while a  move from fragmented to continuous care appears protective.


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1 When Might the Risks Outweigh the Benefits in Prescribing Antipsychotics to MaineCare Members? - QI Data Snapshot, Vol 4, Issue 3 (2012) Administrator 887
2 Implications from the Multiple Chronic Conditions Project: Impact of Mental Illness and/or Substance Abuse on Diabetes Intervention and Outcomes Administrator 929