mental health and chronic disease

Mental Health and Chronic Disease: Study Notes Connections

Two key efforts for workplace wellness programs: Helping employees and businesses manage mental health and chronic disease. Might they be related?

We’ve previously noted the potential benefits of yoga on various chronic disease management efforts, highlighting a study titled “Yoga training modulates adipokines in adults with high‐normal blood pressure and metabolic syndrome”

MedPage Today reports that “New findings reinforce the connection between diabetes and anxiety while advancing knowledge around diagnostic and treatment possibilities. According to data from the Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes 2018 published by the American Diabetes Association, psychosocial interventions can significantly reduce A1C, with a mean reduction of 0.29%, not to mention directly improving mental health and quality of life.”

The post notes a 2016 study published in Psychoneuroendocrinology and titled “Executive functioning and diabetes: The role of anxious arousal and inflammation.”

The authors note that “individuals who perform poorly on measures of the executive function of inhibition have higher anxious arousal in comparison to those with better performance. High anxious arousal is associated with a pro-inflammatory response. Chronically high anxious arousal and inflammation increase one’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

The study continues: “On the basis of our results, we propose several avenues to explore for improved prevention and treatment efforts for type 2 diabetes.”

For well-run workplace wellness programs, some guidance might come from the American Diabetes Association.

MedPage writes: “In the nearer term, the ADA standards suggest anxiety and depression screening at the initial visit and thereafter periodically and when changes in behavior, life circumstances, or the disease itself trigger the possibility of mental health changes.”

“‘Key opportunities for psychosocial screening occur at diabetes diagnosis, during regularly scheduled management visits, during hospitalizations, with new onset of complications, or when problems with glucose control, quality of life, or self-management are identified,’ the standards state.”