Study says 1 in 5 women with diabetes suffers from depression




The burden of having diabetes is linked to depression particularly among women, according to a study conducted by researchers at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

“Our study sample represented nearly nine million women aged 20 or over in the U.S. with diabetes from 2007-2012,” said Shiela M. Strauss, PhD, one of the study researchers, in an NYU press release. “Our findings indicate that nearly 1.7 million of these women also had depression co-morbidity. This is truly a staggering number of individuals.”

The study, published Nov. 16 in The Diabetes Educator, sought to identify sex specific indicators that predict depression among women with diabetes.

Results showed that 19% of women with diabetes had depression. Female-specific predictors included younger age, less than high school graduation, self-rated fair or poor health, inactivity due to health and pain that interfered with usual activities.

“Although existing research involving both adult men and women with diabetes has identified the importance of various diabetes-related factors, such as years living with diabetes and use of insulin, in predicting co-morbid depression, this was not the case when these variables were considered among women alone,” researchers stated in the study.

“Marital status and diabetes-related factors (years living with diabetes, use of insulin, parent or sibling with diabetes) were not significant predictors of depression in adult women with diabetes,” the researchers concluded.

The researchers suggested depression screening be performed, especially among women with female-specific depression predictors.

According to the CDC, 22 million people were diagnosed with diabetes in 2014.

The economic burden of diabetes is estimated at $245 billion, according to the Diabetes Care article, “Economic Costs of Diabetes in the U.S. in 2012.”

“The largest components of medical expenditures are hospital inpatient care (43% of the total medical cost), prescription medications to treat the complications of diabetes (18%), antidiabetic agents and diabetes supplies (12%), physician office visits (9%), and nursing/residential facility stays (8%),” researchers wrote in the article. “People with diagnosed diabetes incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year, of which about $7,900 is attributed to diabetes.”

Psych Central’s article, “Diabetes and Depression” published in May 2016 by the National Institute of Mental Health stated “several studies suggest that diabetes doubles the risk of depression compared to those without the disorder. The chances of becoming depressed increase as diabetes complications worsen.”

The article suggests treating depression with psychotherapy, medication or a combination, can improve a patient’s well-being and their ability to manage their diabetes.

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About the author
Sallie Jimenez

Sallie Jimenez 

Senior Nursing Editor Sallie Jimenez develops and edits content for OnCourse Learning’s Nurse.com blog, which covers industry news and trends in the nursing profession and healthcare. She has more than 22 years of healthcare journalism, content marketing and editing experience.

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