Depression occurring amongst young diabetes patients

Tue, 04 Apr 2006
New research has outlined factors that may indicate that a diabetic child is also suffering from depression. These include poor blood sugar control and henceforth poor management of their disease, and frequent visits to the emergency room. An expert at the helm of the study was reported as saying that amongst young patients with diabetes who are having trouble keeping blood sugar levels stable, it could be worth considering "screening for depressed mood."

The study, entitled ‘The SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth’ and carried out in California, is the largest study of diabetes in American children so far. The study collected data from over 2500 young people aged between 10 and 21. The average study group participant had been suffering from diabetes (mostly type 1) for five years. Over 350 members of the group were suffering from type 2 diabetes, the more common branch of the disease traditionally associated with older people and obesity.

The researchers concluded that around 14 per cent of subjects were mildly depressed, and almost nine per cent were suffering from moderate or even severe depression. Female study group members were found to be more depressed on average than males. The study raises important questions for the treatment of diabetes and depression amongst the young in the UK.
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