Patients with Diabetes have Depressive Symptoms Related to Metabolic Control, Study Finds

   A Brazilian study has found that more than two-thirds of patients with diabetes have depressive symptoms related to poor metabolic control. The research was presented at ENDO 2011: the 93rd Annual Meeting & Expo of the Endocrine Society in Boston.

   Investigators from the Municipal Health Consortium in Cuite and the Federal Univesity of Rio Grande do Norte in Natal studied 190 persons with diabetes aged 10 to 83 (median 57.7) in a community clinic. They assessed depressive symptoms using the  Beck Depression Inventory. Glycemic level, HbA1c, fasting lipid profile, BMI, and blood pressure were measured on each participant. The investigators used a questionnaire to determine diabetes-related parameters, including social, demographic, economic, anthropometric, clinical history, and chronic complications.

   Following data analysis, the prevalence of depressive symptoms (score >/=10) was found to be 67.7%. Depressive symptoms were more prevalent among women with diabetes than men, irregardless of age. (There was mild-to-severe depression in 72.2% of women and 53.3% of men.) There also was an association between depressive symptoms and the worsening of metabolic control: the frequency of symptoms was correlated with the presence of chronic complications of diabetes, especially peripheral neuropathy.

   “The high prevalence rates of depression indicate psychiatric intervention to precocious detection and treatment, since these factors consist important protective mechanisms against depression influence in outcome and chronic complications,” the investigators concluded. “Furthermore, the depressive state involves hormonal changes potentially implicated in the worsening of diabetic control. It may be necessary to include psychiatric approach in diabetic care, besides the modification of lifestyle to achieve beter glycemic control in this population.”