Endocrine Abstracts (2017) 49 EP424 | DOI: 10.1530/endoabs.49.EP424

The relation between type II diabetes and chronic depression in primary care practice in Jordan

Abdallah Alzoubi, Renad Abu Naser, Ady Khasawneh & Aws Khasawneh


Jordan University of Science and Technology, Irbid, Jordan.


Diabetes is a major health problem that affects 8.5% of adults worldwide, and 13.2% of adults in Jordan. Studies suggest a bidirectional relationship between diabetes and chronic depression. Diabetic patients are twice as likely to suffer from depression that is symptomatically worse when compared to nondiabetic individuals. Depressed diabetics suffer from poor glycemic control and increased risk of diabetes complications. Because little is known about the bidirectional relationship between diabetes and chronic depression in Jordan, we screened for depressive disorders among diabetic patients using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and screened for diabetes among depressed individuals by measuring their HbA1c, in a cross-sectional study design. A total of 146 diabetic patients (74 males, 72 females) participated in the study, with a mean age of 56±8.5 years. Almost 60% of participants were uncontrolled for diabetes (HbA1c ≥ 7%) with a mean HbA1c of 8.9%±1.7 and a mean PHQ-9 score of 6.2±5.5. The remaining 40.4% were controlled for diabetes (HbA1c ≤ 7%) with a mean HbA1c of 6.1±0.6 and a mean PHQ-9 score of 6.7±4.5. The prevalence of chronic depression (PHQ-9 score ≥ 10) among diabetic patients was 27.4%. No correlation was found between PHQ-9 scores and HbA1c levels (Spearmen’s r=−0.03, P=0.75). Additionally, 20 depressed patients were recruited from the psychiatry clinic with a mean age of 41.7±8.3 years, and were then screened for diabetes by measuring HbA1C levels. None of these was found to be diabetic, with a mean HbA1C of 5.4%±0.4. In conclusion, our results thus far deny a correlation between depression and diabetes. However, our future plan of examining the effect of treating depression on glycemic control and diabetes complications, and the effect of improving glycemic control on the severity of depression, might improve our understanding of this relationship.

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