Association between diabetes and depression: Sex and age differences

Public Health. 2006 Aug;120(8):696-704. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2006.04.012. Epub 2006 Jul 7.


Objective: To examine the association between diabetes and the prevalence of depression in different sex and age groups by analysing the cross-sectional data from the National Population Health Survey, conducted in Canada in 1996-1997.

Study design: A total of 53072 people aged 20-64 years were included in the analysis. Depression was defined as depression scale 5, based on the Composite International Diagnostic Interview Short-Form (CIDI-SF). Respondents who answered the following question affirmatively were considered to have diabetes: 'do you have diabetes diagnosed by a health professional?'.

Methods: A multiple logistic regression model was used to adjust for potential confounding effects, and a bootstrap procedure was used to take sampling weights and design effects into account.

Results: The prevalence of diabetes was much higher in people aged 40-64 years than in people aged 20-39 years (men: 4.7% vs. 0.5%; women: 3.5% vs. 0.8%, respectively). In contrast, people aged 20-39 years had a slightly higher prevalence of depression than those aged 40-64 years (men: 3.1% vs. 2.9%; women: 6.6% vs. 5.4%, respectively). Diabetes was significantly associated with depression in women aged 20-39 years (odds ratio [OR]=2.52, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.19, 5.32), but not in women aged 40-64 years (OR=1.62, and 95% CI=0.65, 4.06). The association was not significant in both age groups in men, but it tended to be stronger in the younger age group.

Conclusions: The data suggest that diabetes is significantly associated with depression, particularly in young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / etiology*
  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors