A quarter of Canadian diabetics, with either type one or two diabetes suffer from a tendency to worry about their health and thus misinterpret bodily sensations as more serious and threatening than they actually are.
Neurological patients have the same degree of anxiety, judged the highest for all patient groups.
Health anxiety was worse in younger patients, females, those recently diagnosed and those who were unmarried.
They had anxiety, a fear of diabetes complications, poorer adherence to dietary and self care activities and a lower physical quality of life.
The researches add, “The cognitive behavioural theory of health anxiety suggests than health anxiety increases when patients feel more vulnerable, perceive the medical condition to be more distressing, feel they are unable to cope with the medical condition, and believe that resources for coping with the medical condition are inadequate.”
From Human Givens Volume 21. No 1 2014
(Janzen Claude JA Hadjistavropoulos, HD and Friesen, L (2014) Exploration of health anxiety among individuals with diabetes: prevalence and implications, Journal of Health Psychology, 19,2 312-22)