Depression among kids with diabetes varies by diabetes type

November 13, 2019

Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of developing depression. A new study in Pediatric Diabetes, however, takes this one step further, suggesting that depressive symptoms among youths with diabetes varies by diabetes type. 

Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of developing depression. A new study in Pediatric Diabetes, however, takes this one step further, suggesting that depressive symptoms among youths with diabetes varies by diabetes type.

Researchers used a sample of 149 teenagers and young adults who had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (n = 122) or type 2 diabetes (n= 27). At a routine doctor’s visit, each patient was screened for depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire and the PROMIS Pediatric Global Health scale. Chart reviews were used to determine diagnosis, duration of the participant’s diabetes, and other indicators of health status.

The findings

In the sample, researchers found that adolescents with type 2 diabetes had significantly higher depressive symptoms scores than the adolescents with type 1 diabetes (4.89 vs 2.99, P = .025). Clinically significant depressive symptoms were found in 7.4 % of the cohort.

A link between global health and depressive symptoms was stronger in the patients with type 2 diabetes (β = −.98, P < .001) than those with type 1 (β = −.48, P < .001). However, teenagers with type 1 diabetes and better global health had more depressive symptoms than teenagers with type 2 diabetes and better global health (β = .33, P = .035).

Diabetes duration had no significant impact on depressive symptoms in type 1 diabetes patients, but there was a positive association with type 2 diabetes (β = .86, P = .043). No gender differences were detected.

Researchers concluded that depressive symptoms differ by diabetes type, indicating that providers shouldn’t use the same approach for treating depression in both groups. Instead, they should consider tailoring the intervention to both type of diabetes and global health status.