Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the depressive symptoms of type 2 diabetic patients who were treated with insulin compared to those diabetics treated with oral anti-diabetic drugs in Korea.
Methods: A total 204 outpatients with type 2 diabetes were invited to complete a questionnaire using the Beck depression inventory (BDI) to measure depressive symptoms. Age, gender, body mass index, serum lipid profile, and a social history including marital status, occupation and educational background were also assessed. The presence of diabetic complications was evaluated by examining the patients' medical records. Diabetic patients who were not treated with anti-diabetic drugs were excluded. All the study subjects were classified into two groups based on their mode of therapy: the oral drug group and insulin group. The insulin group included patients treated with insulin-oral drug combinations as well as those treated solely with insulin.
Results: Overall, 32.4% of our diabetic subjects showed depressive symptoms with the criterion being a BDI score > or = 16. Compared to the oral drug group, the insulin group showed a significantly higher frequency of depressive symptoms (insulin group, 48.0%; oral drug group, 27.3%; p<0.01) and higher BDI scores (insulin group, 16.6+/-10.7; oral drug group, 12.6+/-8.7; p<0.01). Moreover, after an adjustment for social factors, the degree of hyperglycemia and the presence of diabetic complications, the insulin group showed a significantly higher frequency of depression (odds ratio 4.38, 95% CI 1.66-11.6, p=0.003), compared to the oral drug group.
Conclusions: The data showed that insulin treatment is related to the presence of depressive symptoms, and the importance of more careful psychological support of Korean insulin-treated type 2 diabetic patients is strongly suggested.