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Depression in Croatian Type 2 diabetic patients: prevalence and risk factors. A Croatian survey from the European Depression in Diabetes (EDID) Research Consortium


  • The study was approved by the Ethics committee of the Vuk Vrhovac University Clinic at the Committee's meeting held on November 28, 2001.

Mirjana Pibernik-Okanovic, Vuk Vrhovac University Clinic, Dugi dol 4a, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia. E-mail:


Aims  To determine the prevalence rate of and risk factors for depression in Croatian Type 2 diabetic patients.

Methods  Depressive mood was examined in 384 randomly selected outpatients with Type 2 diabetes. Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID) were used to identify depressive disturbances. The groups with CES-D ≥ 16 and < 16 were compared with respect to demographic, psychological and clinical characteristics. Regression analysis was used to determine risk factors for depression.

Results  Of the examined patients, 22% had CES-D scores ≥ 16, and in 33% of them clinical depression was confirmed by the psychiatric interview. Depressed patients compared with the non-depressed ones reported more diabetes-related problems and poorer well-being (t = 6.71, P < 0.001 and t = 11.98, P < 0.001, respectively). Multiple regression analysis indicated female gender, experienced support and the level of emotional well-being to predict depression (R = 0.74, F = 15.3, P < 0.001).

Conclusions  The obtained data indicate that the prevalence rate in Croatian Type 2 diabetic patients is comparable to findings from other cultural settings. Depressive symptoms can be predicted by psychological rather than disease-related variables. Psychological care for diabetic patients may be necessary to prevent depressive symptomatology.