J Korean Med Sci.  2021 Jul;36(26):e182. 10.3346/jkms.2021.36.e182.

Questionnaire-based Survey of Demographic and Clinical Characteristics, Health Behaviors, and Mental Health of Young Korean Adults with Early-onset Diabetes

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, Korea
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Soonchunhyang University Gumi Hospital, Gumi, Korea
  • 3Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea
  • 5Department of Internal Medicine, Ulsan University Hospital, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Ulsan, Korea

Abstract

Background
The incidence of early-onset diabetes is increasing among young adults. However, there are limited data on the characteristics and management of young Korean adults with diabetes. This study assessed the clinical and demographic characteristics, health behaviors, and mental health among young Korean adults with diabetes mellitus.
Methods
This cross-sectional study included young Korean adults with diabetes (n = 225) with an onset age of 20–39 years from four university hospitals. Demographic characteristics, management of diabetes, and mental health were assessed using a questionnaire survey.
Results
Type 2 diabetes was the most common type (73.3%), and 13.8% of participants were classified as other types or unknown. Approximately, 64.7% of participants had a strong family history of diabetes, and 76% had treatment within three months of diagnosis. Approximately, 11.1% of participants had diabetic complications; 39.1% of participants received insulin injections, including oral anti-diabetic medications. Additionally, 30.4% were smokers, and only 28% had active physical activity; 26.5% of participants had >3 hours of screen time. One third of participants never had breakfast, and 60.5% went out to eat at least three times a week. Half of the participants showed moderate to severe stress perception, and 21.4% of patients had moderate to severe levels of depression based on the Korean version of Beck Depression Inventory score.
Conclusion
Early-onset diabetes was associated with a strong family history and early insulin treatment. Young adults with diabetes had poor health behaviors and frequent mental depression. These findings suggest the necessity of health policies for improving health behaviors and mental distress.

Keyword

Young Adult; Diabetes; Health-related Behavior; Mental Health; Complications; Depression
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