A longer duration of diabetes is associated with a greater risk of depression in men aged 70-89, according to Dr. Osvaldo P. Almeida and associates.

In their sample of 5,462 elderly men, 932 had diabetes, and 976 had current or past depression. Of those with diabetes, 215 had current or past depression. The odds ratio of diabetic men ever being depressed was 1.49, and the OR of current depression was 1.94.

The association between depression and diabetes duration was J shaped, with ORs of 1.92 for those with less than 10 years of diabetes history, 1.56 for those with 10-19.9 years of diabetes, 2.49 for those with 20-29.9 years of diabetes, and 3.13 for those with more than 30 years of diabetes.

Frailty was a very significant predictor of depression in diabetic men, but it accounted for about 15% of the association between diabetes and depression, the investigators noted.

“The severity of comorbidity may also play a role, and this could explain why the association between diabetes and depression becomes more obvious during the later stages of illness. Sufficiently powered prospective studies with prolonged follow-up, limited attrition, and robust measures of comorbidity should provide greater certainty about the true nature of these associations,” the investigators concluded.

Find the study in Maturitas (doi: 10.1016/j.maturitas.2016.01.003).


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