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05-01-2012 | Mental health | Article

Diabetes patients at increased risk for depression


Free abstract

MedWire News: Depression is common in patients with Type 2 diabetes and, once present, often becomes a chronic or recurrent condition, a study shows.

The findings revealed that as many as one in four primary-care patients with Type 2 diabetes met the criterion for depression at one or more assessments during a 2.5-year period, say Francois Pouwer (Tilburg University, the Netherlands) and colleagues.

The researchers conducted a data analysis of 2460 participants from the Diabetes, Depression, Type D Personality Zuidoost-Brabant (DiaDDZoB) Study. Data collected during a baseline assessment in 2005 were compared with data obtained at follow-up visits conducted in 2007 and 2008.

At each assessment, the patients were classified as either depressed or not depressed using the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS), where a score of 12 or more indicates depression.

Patients were considered to have "any depression" if they had an EDS score of 12 or more on at least one of the three occasions they were assessed. Patients who did not have depression at baseline but who had at least one EDS score of 12 or more at a follow-up visit were classified as having incident depression whereas those with baseline depression who still had a high EDS score at follow-up were considered to have recurrent/persistent depression.

As reported in the journal Diabetologia, rates of any depression, incident depression, and recurrent or persistent depression during the 2.5-year study period were 26%, 14%, and 66%, respectively.

Multivariate regression analysis revealed that low educational level, stressful life events in the last 12 months (eg, loss of a loved one, burglary, relationship problems), and a self-reported history of depression were significantly associated with any depression, at odds ratios (ORs) of 1.93, 1.90, and 4.53, respectively, in women and ORs of 1.56, 1.83, and 5.52, respectively, in men.

Non-cardiovascular chronic medical conditions were also a significant predictor for any depression in women but not in men.

However, in regression analysis looking only at incident depression, significant predictors were limited to female gender, low education levels, and self-reported history of depression, at ORs of 1.63, 1.62, and 3.27, respectively.

In addition, among those diagnosed with recurrent/persistent depression, only self-reported history of depression was a significant predictor for depression, at an OR of 2.54.

"These results are valuable for primary care as they clearly show that a simple self-report question is highly predictive of future depression," write the authors.

"Additional monitoring may be required in patients who report a history of depression," they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Sally Robertson

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