- Women suffering from diabetes also suffer from depression.
- The co-morbid predictors of depression are younger age, poor health, not completing high school, inactivity due to pain or poor health.
- The diabetes/depression comorbidity is associated with greater healthcare costs, poorer self-care, less medication compliance and dietary adherence.
The predictors of co-morbid depression like younger age, poor health, not completing high school, inactivity due to pain or poor health were all women-specific.
‘Recognizing the combination of the female-specific characteristics will help to target the vulnerable women for screening and depression treatment.’
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"The diabetes/depression comorbidity is associated with greater healthcare costs, poorer self-care, less medication compliance and dietary adherence, a greater diabetes symptom burden, poorer quality of life, and premature mortality," says Dr. Shiela Strauss, associate professor of nursing in the New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing (NYU Meyers).
A new study just published in The Diabetes Educator, "Predictors of Depression among Adult Women with Diabetes in the United States: An Analysis Using NHANES Data from 2007-2012," establishes various depression predictors among adult women with depression of diverse ages and races and ethnicities.
The researchers confined their analysis to the specific NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data collected from 2007 to 2012 among women aged twenty or older with diabetes.
The study sample included a diverse group of 946 women.
The team found that 19% of the women represented by their study sample was clinically depressed according to a depression questionnaire that they completed.
"Our study sample represented nearly nine million women aged twenty or over in the U.S. with diabetes from 2007-2012," explained Dr. Strauss.
The findings indicate that nearly 1.7 million of these women also had depression co-morbidity.
The results indicate that younger age, less education, self-rated poor health, and frequent pain and physical and functional impairment are significant predictors of depression among adult women with diabetes.
"What's particularly salient to me is that women who were limited in their ability to carry on their usual activities because of pain, or who were inactive due to poor health, were especially likely to have co-morbid depression," said Dr. Strauss.
"These may not be the first factors people would associate with depression in adult women living with diabetes; empirical evidence only goes so far. But through our analysis of the NHANES dataset we were able to identify them as strong predictors of comorbid depression among women."
The results from Dr. Strauss' study will enable the targeting of especially vulnerable women for screening and depression treatment, recognizing that the specific combination of these female-specific characteristics are not the same as those combinations of characteristics identified in populations that include both men and women with diabetes.