This site is intended for health professionals only

People with treated diabetes at risk of depression

People with treated type 2 diabetes are at increased risk of developing depression, while a more modest association was found between people with depression and the risk of diabetes, according to a study published in yesterday's issue of JAMA.

The prevalence of clinical depression and the presence of elevated depressive symptoms are higher among people with diabetes compared with the general population. These associations may be related to increased risk of depressive symptoms in individuals with diabetes, increased risk of type 2 diabetes in individuals with depressive symptoms, or both.

The researchers found that treated type 2 diabetes was associated with a 52% higher risk of developing elevated depressive symptoms. Individuals with untreated type 2 diabetes were not at increased risk.

"Depressive symptoms are associated with several metabolic and behavioral risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Depressed individuals are less likely to comply with dietary and weight loss recommendations and more likely to be physically inactive, contributing to obesity, a strong risk factor.

"These findings suggest that clinicians should be aware of increased risk of elevated depressive symptoms in individuals with treated type 2 diabetes and consider routine screening for depressive symptoms among these patients," the authors conclude.


Have you seen a link between diabetes and depression? Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

"Absolutely. It is difficult to establish though which came first in some people and wether diabetes/depression exacerbate one another. Based on my experience, it very much depends on preexisting personality and characteristics to the potential level of potential depression, which could also take the form of obsessive behaviour, without having effective impact on diabetes management." - Wendy McMahon, Diabetes Outpatient Department