Prevalence of depression in patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 and type 2 and its possible relations with glycaemic control

Milda Staniulytė1, Tautvydas Joteika1

1Academy of Medicine, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania


Depression occurs 2- 3 times more in people with diabetes mellitus (DM) with the majority of cases remaining under-diagnosed. Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) is an approved indicator for a long-term glycaemic control which is advised to be ≤ 7.
Aim: To determine the prevalence and severity of depression among people with DM and evaluate the possible links of glycaemic control with the severity of depression.
Methods: In 2019 – 2020 an anonymous survey of people diagnosed with DM type 1 and type 2 was carried out in Endocrinology Department, LUHS Kaunas Clinics, and online community ″Lietuvos diabetikai″. 281 adults with no previous record of depression were selected. An originally created questionnaire for respondents’ demographic data and Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 (PHQ-9) for the screening of depression was used. Depression score was assessed using the evaluation guidelines of PHQ-9. Statistical analysis was performed by “IBM SPSS 25.0”. Relations of qualitative variables were assessed by Pearson (χ2). Results were considered statistically reliable if p≤0,05.
Results: Out of 281 respondents only 31 (11 %) denied experiencing any mental health complaints during the past year. According to PHQ-9 score, 115 (40,9%) had minimal or none, 83 (29.5%) had mild, 41 (14,6%) had moderate, 25 (8,9%) had moderately severe, 17 (6%) had severe symptoms of depression.
When divided into 2 groups by their latest level of HbA1c, 50 (44,6%) respondents with HbA1c≤ 7 had minimal or none, 35 (31,3%) had mild, 17 (15,2%) had moderate, 10 (8,9%) had moderately severe and none of the respondents had severe depression symptoms. 55 (37,2%) respondents with HbA1c≥ 7 had minimal or none, 40 (27%) had mild, 22 (14,9%) had moderate, 14 (9,5%) had moderately severe, 17 (11.5%) had severe depression symptoms. There was a statistical significance of occurrence of depression and its possible severity between the two groups (p= 0,007).

Conclusions: 29 % of patients with DM could be suspected of having depression.
Insufficient control of DM had a link with the possible depression and its severeness.

Keywords: depression, diabetes mellitus, glycaemic control, HbA1c .