Depression: a common and burdensome complication of diabetes that warrants the continued attention of clinicians, researchers and healthcare policy makers
Author: François Pouwer
Publisher: Springer Berlin Heidelberg
There is ample evidence that depression is a common comorbid health issue in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Reviews have also concluded that depression in diabetes is associated with higher HbA 1c levels, less optimal self-care behaviours, lower quality of life, incident vascular complications and higher mortality rates. However, longitudinal studies into the course of depression in people with type 1 diabetes remain scarce. In this issue of Diabetologia, Kampling and colleagues (doi: 10.1007/s00125-016-4123-0) report the 5 year trajectories of depression in adults with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes (mean age, 28 years). Their baseline results showed that shortly after the diagnosis of type 1 diabetes a major depressive episode was diagnosed in approximately 6% of participants, while 8% suffered from an anxiety disorder. The longitudinal depression data showed that, in a 5 year period, 79% reported no depressive symptoms at any time, while 7% had a high depression score that improved and 14% reported worsening of depressive symptoms. Here, the clinical relevance of these findings is discussed and areas for further research are described.