Interventions for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes in Adults with Mental Disorders in Low- & Middle-Income Countries

Research Paper Title

Interventions for preventing type 2 diabetes in adults with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries.

Background

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increased in individuals with mental disorders. Much of the burden of disease falls on the populations of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).

Therefore the aim of this study was to assess the effects of pharmacological, behaviour change, and organisational interventions versus active and non-active comparators in the prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes among people with mental illness in LMICs.

Methods

The researchers searched the Cochrane Common Mental Disorders Controlled Trials Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase and six other databases, as well as three international trials registries. They also searched conference proceedings and checked the reference lists of relevant systematic reviews. Searches are current up to 20 February 2020.

A randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of pharmacological, behavioural or organisational interventions targeting the prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes in adults with mental disorders in LMICs.

Pairs of review authors working independently performed data extraction and risk of bias assessments. They conducted meta-analyses using random-effects models.

Results

One hospital-based RCT with 150 participants (99 participants with schizophrenia) addressed our review’s primary outcome of prevention or delay of type 2 diabetes onset. Low-certainty evidence from this study did not show a difference between atypical and typical antipsychotics in the development of diabetes at six weeks (risk ratio (RR) 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.03 to 7.05) (among a total 99 participants with schizophrenia, 68 were in atypical and 31 were in typical antipsychotic groups; 55 participants without mental illness were not considered in the analysis). An additional 29 RCTs with 2481 participants assessed one or more of the review’s secondary outcomes. All studies were conducted in hospital settings and reported on pharmacological interventions.

One study, which the researchers could not include in our meta-analysis, included an intervention with pharmacological and behaviour change components. They identified no studies of organisational interventions. Low- to moderate-certainty evidence suggests there may be no difference between the use of atypical and typical antipsychotics for the outcomes of drop-outs from care (RR 1.31, 95% CI 0.63 to 2.69; two studies with 144 participants), and fasting blood glucose levels (mean difference (MD) 0.05 lower, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.00; two studies with 211 participants). Participants who receive typical antipsychotics may have a lower body mass index (BMI) at follow-up than participants who receive atypical antipsychotics (MD 0.57, 95% CI 0.33 to 0.81; two studies with 141 participants; moderate certainty of evidence), and may have lower total cholesterol levels eight weeks after starting treatment (MD 0.35, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.43; one study with 112 participants). There was moderate certainty evidence suggesting no difference between the use of metformin and placebo for the outcomes of drop-outs from care (RR 1.22, 95% CI 0.09 to 16.35; three studies with 158 participants).

There was moderate-to-high certainty evidence of no difference between metformin and placebo for fasting blood glucose levels (endpoint data: MD -0.35, 95% CI -0.60 to -0.11; change from baseline data: MD 0.01, 95% CI -0.21 to 0.22; five studies with 264 participants). There was high certainty evidence that BMI was lower for participants receiving metformin compared with those receiving a placebo (MD -1.37, 95% CI -2.04 to -0.70; five studies with 264 participants; high certainty of evidence). There was no difference between metformin and placebo for the outcomes of waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Low-certainty evidence from one study (48 participants) suggests there may be no difference between the use of melatonin and placebo for the outcome of drop-outs from care (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.38 to 2.66). Fasting blood glucose is probably reduced more in participants treated with melatonin compared with placebo (endpoint data: MD -0.17, 95% CI -0.35 to 0.01; change from baseline data: MD -0.24, 95% CI -0.39 to -0.09; three studies with 202 participants, moderate-certainty evidence).

There was no difference between melatonin and placebo for the outcomes of waist circumference, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Very low-certainty evidence from one study (25 participants) suggests that drop-outs may be higher in participants treated with a tricyclic antidepressant (TCA) compared with those receiving a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) (RR 0.34, 95% CI 0.11 to 1.01). It is uncertain if there is no difference in fasting blood glucose levels between these groups (MD -0.39, 95% CI -0.88 to 0.10; three studies with 141 participants, moderate-certainty evidence). It is uncertain if there is no difference in BMI and depression between the TCA and SSRI antidepressant groups.

Conclusions

Only one study reported data on the primary outcome of interest, providing low-certainty evidence that there may be no difference in risk between atypical and typical antipsychotics for the outcome of developing type 2 diabetes. The researchers are therefore not able to draw conclusions on the prevention of type 2 diabetes in people with mental disorders in LMICs. For studies reporting on secondary outcomes, there was evidence of risk of bias in the results. There is a need for further studies with participants from LMICs with mental disorders, particularly on behaviour change and on organisational interventions targeting prevention of type 2 diabetes in these populations.

Reference

Mishu, M.P., Uphoff, E., Aslam, F., Philip, S., Wright, J., Tirbhowan, N., Ajjan, R.A., Azdi, Z.A., Stubbs, B., Chhurchill, R. & Siddiqi, N. (2021) Interventions for preventing type 2 diabetes in adults with mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD013281.pub2.

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