March 19, 2022
Taiwan has a mandatory single-payer universal health insurance system, the National Health Insurance (NHI), that records diagnoses and prescriptions across virtually the entire resident population. Out of the roughly 28 million residents covered by NHI, a randomly assigned sample of 3 million is tracked in the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database(NHIRD).
Expert panels have to confirm all diagnoses of severe systemic autoimmune diseases, ensuring a high level of accuracy.
A Taiwanese study team availed itself of these records to explore the link between type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and ADHD. ADHD diagnoses were made by board-certified psychiatrists, based on comprehensive interviews and clinical judgment.
The team found a total of 6,226 cases diagnosed with T1DM in the decade from 2001 through 2010 and followed them through the end of 2001. It matched each case with ten age- and sex-matched non-T1DM controls from the same database, for a total of 62,260 controls.
Persons with type 1 diabetes were found to be eight times more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD than those who were not diabetic. There was no difference in the risk ratio between youth and adults. The risk of ADHD among females with T1DM was only slightly lower than among males: sevenfold greater, rather than 8.5 times greater.
The authors concluded, "Our findings indicate the importance of the close monitoring of the mental health condition of patients with T1DM by clinicians ... The exact path of mechanisms between T1DM and major psychiatric disorders should be elucidated in future studies."
Mu-Hong Chen, Shih-Jen Tsai, Ya-MeiBai, Kai-Lin Huang, Tung-Ping Su, Tzeng-Ji Chen, Ju-Wei Hsu, "Type 1 diabetesmellitus and risks of major psychiatric disorders: A nationwide population-based cohort study," Diabetes & Metabolism (2022)101319, published online,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabet.2022.101319.