Aims To understand the metabolic and temporal links in the relationship between diabetes and depression, we determined the association between depressive symptoms and unrecognized glucose intolerance.
Methods In a cross-sectional study, 1047 subjects without known diabetes were screened for diabetes or pre-diabetes using the oral glucose tolerance test and for depressive symptoms using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ).
Results Mean age was 48 years, body mass index 30 kg/m2; 63% were female, 54% black, 11% previously treated for depression and 10% currently treated; 5% had diabetes and 34% pre-diabetes. Median PHQ score was 2 (interquartile range 0–5). Depressive symptoms did not increase with worsening glucose tolerance, after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, body mass index, family history, exercise, education and depression treatment.
Conclusions There is no association between depressive symptoms and unrecognized glucose intolerance. However, it remains possible that diagnosed diabetes, with its attendant health concerns, management issues, and/or biological changes, may be a risk for subsequent development of depression. Thus, patients with newly diagnosed diabetes should be counselled appropriately and monitored for the development of depression.