Objective: Recent research has shown that depression may predict incident diabetes. The aims of the study are to investigate if symptoms of depression and anxiety precede the onset of diabetes or vice versa and to examine if mediating factors may explain such associations.
Methods: A prospective population-based study (N=37,291) investigating the associations between symptoms of depression/anxiety and diabetes was conducted.
Results: Individuals reporting symptoms of depression and anxiety at baseline had increased risk of onset of type 2 diabetes at 10-year follow-up. No gender differences were found. The analyses did not reveal underlying factors that mediated the association. Baseline diagnosis of diabetes was not associated with subsequent symptoms of anxiety or depression among males or females.
Conclusion: Diabetes did not predict symptoms of depression or anxiety. Symptoms of depression and anxiety emerged as significant risk factors for onset of type 2 diabetes independent of established risk factors for diabetes, such as socioeconomic factors, lifestyle factors, and markers of the metabolic syndrome. The comorbidity between depression and anxiety may be the most important factor.