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Diabetes not associated with depression: study


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Issue 24 Q3 2005

Diabetes not associated with depression: study

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with diabetes are no more likely than the general population to have depression, according to study results reported in the journal Diabetes Care.

The results of a second study, also reported in the journal, suggest that most mothers of infants found to be at risk for type 1 diabetes do not become depressed in response to this information.

Although some studies have suggested an increased risk of depression among diabetics, Dr. Anne Engum at Hospital Levanger in Norway and her colleagues theorized that the association may be influenced by the presence of other illnesses and factors commonly linked to depression.

They therefore evaluated data collected in the population-based second Nord-Trondelag Health Study, which included 59,329 subjects without diabetes, 223 with type 1 diabetes and 958 with type 2 diabetes. Subjects were screened for depression using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale.

Depression was more common among the diabetics (15.2 percent of type 1 diabetes, 19.0 percent of type 2 diabetes versus 10.7 percent in nondiabetics). However, the presence of one or more chronic physical illnesses was more common among diabetics (60.5 percent, 74.0 percent and 31.8 percent, respectively).

When the team examined the data for diabetics without other illnesses, their risk of depression was no higher than that in the reference population.

Moreover, factors among diabetics associated with depression, such as lower levels of education, less physical activity and physical impairment, were no different from those in the nondiabetic population.

For the second paper, Dr. Korey K. Hood, from Harvard Medical School in Boston, contacted mothers of 192 infants whose genetic screening showed that they were at moderate to high risk of developing type 1 diabetes, meaning that 2 to 25 babies out of 100 would develop the disease.

When interviewed 1 month after they were notified of their infants' risk, the group as a whole was no more depressed than the general population according to scores on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies - Depression Scale.

However, scores were higher for women of ethnic minorities, those with no more than a high school education, and those with evidence of postpartum depression.

The mothers' coping styles also predicted depression symptoms in response to notification of their infants' risk, with higher depression scores among those who frequently used wishful thinking and blamed themselves.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, August 2005.

©2005 Reuters Health. Click for restrictions.

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