Depression in Diabetes-The Hidden Bane

Ann Neurosci. 2023 Jul;30(3):163-168. doi: 10.1177/09727531221144112. Epub 2023 Jan 11.


Background: In India, a number of diabetes patients are rising, around 41 million Indians are suffering from diabetes. The depressed mood of an individual restricts the performance of that individual-socially, financially, and health-wise.

Purpose: Patients with diabetes having depression have shown worst diabetes outcomes in contrast to those suffering from type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) only, perhaps due to neglect at retaining a specific dietary regimen to control blood sugar levels, and/or not complying with regular exercise, consistent lifestyle, and treatment course. Our study aimed to analyze the presence of undiagnosed depression among adult diabetes patients and correlate complications and duration of T2DM with depression.

Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was conducted on diabetes cases visiting Out Patient Department (OPD) at Tertiary Care Hospital in South India. After obtaining ethics committee clearance, known diabetes adult patients on regular treatment fulfilling selection criteria, and willing to join in the study were randomly selected. Participants were interviewed, clinically examined and data pertaining to sociodemographic characteristics, comorbid conditions, clinical parameters etc., were collected. Depression was judged using the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS17) questionnaire. The association of depression with glycemic control, duration, and comorbidities associated with T2DM was studied.

Results: Of 224 T2DM patients studied, the average age was 58 years, with a Male-to-Female ratio 2:1. In total, 49 (22%) had undiagnosed depression, and 175 (78%) were not having clinically obvious depression. In our study, depression was significantly associated with older age, occurrence of complications like retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, and heart disease, and duration of diabetes (p < .005).

Conclusion: Almost a fifth of diabetes individuals had undiagnosed depression. Proper diagnosis of depression among T2DM patients and intervention at right time can change the prognosis for patients, preventing further morbidities.

Keywords: Anxiety; Blood sugar; Diabetes related comorbidities; Duration of diabetes.