Individuals with diabetes are twice as likely to struggle from depressive symptoms than individuals without diabetes. However, this joint condition is undertreated in nearly two-thirds of patients. Failure to monitor the comorbidity may lead to suboptimal therapy. This study evaluated the association of antidepressant use with healthcare utilization in a national sample of patients with type 2 diabetes and depression symptoms in the United States. It further assessed the differences in sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral factors between those who use antidepressants and those who do not. This study was a secondary data analysis using the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the period 2005⁻2014. To assess if there were significant differences in sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral factors between those who were taking antidepressants or not, Chi Square and independent t-tests were used. To assess if there was a significant association between antidepressant use and healthcare utilization, univariate and multivariate regression analyses were conducted. Of the 955 participants, only 33% were on antidepressants. There were significant differences in sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral factors among those who used antidepressants and those who did not. Regardless of antidepressant use, the study population had access to health care. Those on antidepressants had fewer diabetes specialists' visits and more mental health care. There might be underlying health care disparities related to the use of, and access to, antidepressants. Further studies are needed to comprehensively explore the management of these comorbidities.
Keywords: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; antidepressant use; depression symptoms; diabetes and depression comorbidity; healthcare disparities; healthcare utilization; type 2 diabetes.