Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of diabetes and depression and their associations with quality of life using a representative population sample.
Research design and methods: The study consisted of a representative population sample of individuals aged > or = 15 years living in South Australia comprising 3,010 personal interviews conducted by trained health interviewers. The prevalence of depression in those suffering doctor-diagnosed diabetes and comparative effects of diabetic status and depression on quality-of-life dimensions were measured.
Results: The prevalence of depression in the diabetic population was 24% compared with 17% in the nondiabetic population. Those with diabetes and depression experienced an impact with a large effect size on every dimension of the Short Form Health-Related Quality-of-Life Questionnaire (SF-36) as compared with those who suffered diabetes and who were not depressed. A supplementary analysis comparing both depressed diabetic and depressed nondiabetic groups showed there were statistically significant differences in the quality-of-life effects between the two depressed populations in the physical and mental component summaries of the SF-36.
Conclusions: Depression for those with diabetes is an important comorbidity that requires careful management because of its severe impact on quality of life.