A significant association exists between depression severity and poor Glycaemic control (PGC) in Hispanics with diabetes and less than one-third of the diabetics were found having received mental health treatment, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons.
The study involved 200 Hispanics with diabetes. "We found a steady increase in the probability of PGC with advancing categories of depression severity," according to Raz Gross, MD, MPH assistant professor of Epidemiology and Psychiatry at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons and principal author of the study.
"This held especially true among patients with moderate-severe depression, where likelihood for PGC was more than three-fold higher compared to patients without depression," said Dr. Gross.
However, there is no such association found in non-Hispanic diabetics.
Hispanics have high incident rates of diabetes and are more likely to have poor Glycaemic control. Diabetes ranks fifth among the leading causes of death in people of Hispanic origin.
Earlier studies have indicated that Hispanic diabetics are usually less likely to have regular sources of medical care for screening or preventive services. Many Hispanics cannot go to a specialist or receive appropriate treatment.
This study may be of clinical significance because, "our findings suggest that identification and adequate treatment of depression in this understudied, high-risk population of Hispanic primary care patients might have favourable effects on diabetic outcomes," said Dr. Gross.
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine.