Clinical depression is a common problem among patients who seek medical care, and diabetic patients with comorbid depression tend to have higher health care cost. A dearth of literature exists on depression among diabetics in Nigeria. The objectives of the study were to determine the prevalence of depression among diabetic patients and to determine the sociodemographic correlates of depression among diabetics.
A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted between December 2005 and April 2006 among patients who attend the diabetes clinic of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH) with a laboratory and clinical evidence of diabetes mellitus. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to record the sociodemographic data of each consecutive patient followed by an interview by psychiatrists using the depression module of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-I V axis I disorder (SCID). Subsequently, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HDRS) was used to determine the severity of symptoms among subjects diagnosed with depression according to DSM-I V criteria.
Thirty-one of the 160 subjects fulfilled the DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode giving a 1-year prevalence rate of 19.4%. Depression was significantly correlated with sex (P
=0.001) with a female-to-male ratio of 3:1 and was also significantly associated with unmarried diabetics (P
=0.002) and those who had a poor relationship with their partners (P
=0.04). No significant association was found between depression and the respondents′ age (P
=0.216), educational qualifications (P
=0.268), employment status (P
=0.84), place of residence (P
=0.80), household composition (P
=0.77), and monthly income (P
Depression is a common psychiatric disorder among diabetic subjects in this environment. It was suggested that diabetic patients be screened for depression to allow for early detection and treatment.