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‘One in five women with diabetes experience depression’

US nursing research finds those with both conditions experience poorer diabetes management and quality of life, and premature mortality
Diabetes and depression

Almost a fifth (19%) of women with diabetes experience depression, according to nursing research.

Women who are younger, have a lower level of education or who self-rate poor health, frequent pain and physical and functional impairment are more likely to report depression, according to the study by the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Researcher and associate professor of nursing Sheila Strauss said that diabetes and depression is associated with greater healthcare costs and poorer self-care.

Those with both conditions experience poorer diabetes management, greater symptom burden, poorer quality of life and premature mortality.

The study,

Almost a fifth (19%) of women with diabetes experience depression, according to nursing research.


Diabetes and depression is associated with greater healthcare costs and
poorer self-care, researchers say. Picture: iStock

Women who are younger, have a lower level of education or who self-rate poor health, frequent pain and physical and functional impairment are more likely to report depression, according to the study by the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing.

Researcher and associate professor of nursing Sheila Strauss said that diabetes and depression is associated with greater healthcare costs and poorer self-care. 

Those with both conditions experience poorer diabetes management, greater symptom burden, poorer quality of life and premature mortality.

The study, published in The Diabetes Educator, considered detailed data on the health of almost 950 women aged over 20 with diabetes. 

‘Staggering number’

While the link between depression and diabetes has previously been researched, this project found depression predictors among adult women of diverse ages, races and ethnicities.

‘Our study sample represented nearly nine million women aged 20 or over in the US with diabetes from 2007-2012,’ Dr Strauss said.

‘Our findings indicate that nearly 1.7 million of these women also had depression comorbidity. This is truly a staggering number of individuals.’

The results could enable especially vulnerable women to be targeted for screening and depression treatment, the researchers say.

Charity Diabetes UK has previously called for better access to psychological care for the 3.5 million people in the UK with diagnosed diabetes. 

A January 2015 survey of more than 3,800 people with diabetes found that two thirds (68%) of those who needed psychological support had not received it.


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