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Denial of disease in Type 2 diabetes mellitus: its influence on metabolic control and associated factors


Dr Eugenia Garay-Sevilla,Instituto de Investigaciones Médicas, Universidad de Guanajuato, 20 de Enero 929, 37320 León, Guanajuato, Mexico.


Aims We have investigated denial of disease in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and its possible association with metabolic control, and with psychosocial variables: satisfaction with medical care, perceived stress, social support, knowledge of diabetes and belief in conventional medicine.

Methods We studied 160 patients in a cross-sectional design, in two groups: with (70) and without social security coverage (90). The mean age for the total group was 53.6 years, with a known diabetes duration of 8.1 years.

Results Denial of disease was similar in those with ≤ 5 years since diagnosis (73 patients) and with > 5 years (87). The group without social security had higher scores of perceived stress, and lower scores of social support, knowledge about diabetes and belief in conventional medicine; denial, however, was similar in the two groups with or without social security. Multiple regression analysis showed that denial of disease was positively associated with HbA1c in the total group (P < 0.001), in the groups with ≤ 5 and > 5 years since diagnosis, as well as in the groups with or without social security. Denial was also associated with years since diagnosis (P = 0.009) for the group with ≤ 5 years since diagnosis.

Conclusions We concluded that, in patients with Type 2 DM denial of disease increases with time during the first 5 years of evolution of diabetes; is associated with poor metabolic control; but is not associated with knowledge of diabetes, belief in conventional medicine, social support or perceived stress.

Diabet. Med. 16, 238–244 (1999)