Depressive symptoms, co-morbidities, and glycemic control in Hong Kong Chinese elderly patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Annie C.H. Fung, Gary Tse, Hiu Lam Cheng, Eric S.H. Lau, Andrea Luk, Risa Ozaki, Tammy T.Y. So, Rebecca Y.M. Wong, Joshua Tsoh, Elaine Chow, Yun Kwok Wing, Juliana C.N. Chan, Alice P.S. Kong

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives: Undiagnosed depression is an important comorbidity in type 2 diabetes (T2D) which can be detected using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) questionnaire. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the associations of depression using GDS score with control of cardiometabolic risk factors and health status in elderly patients with T2D. Setting and participants: Between February and December 2013, patients aged ≥ 65 years who underwent structured comprehensive assessment as a quality improvement program at the Diabetes Center of a teaching hospital were invited to complete the GDS-15 questionnaire. Main outcome measures: Depression was defined as a GDS score ≥ 7. Demographic data, prior history of co-morbidities, frequency of self-reported hypoglycemia, and attainment of treatment targets defined as HbA1c, < 7%, blood pressure < 130/80 mmHg, and LDL-C < 2.6 mmol/L were documented. Results: Among 325 participants (65% male, median [interquartile range] age: 69 [8] years), 42 (13%) had depression. Patients with depression had longer disease durations (mean ± SD: 15.1 ± 9.1 vs. 11.6 ± 8.1 years, P = 0.02), more frequent self-reported hypoglycemic events (17 vs. 6%, P = 0.03) and were less likely to attain all three treatment targets (0 vs. 16%, P = 0.004) than those without depression. On multivariable analysis, patients with depression had an odds ratio of 2.84 (95% confidence intervals: 1.35-6.00, P = 0.006) of reporting prior history of co-morbidities. Conclusion: In elderly patients with T2D, depression was not uncommon especially in those with poor control of risk factors, hypoglycemia, and co-morbidities. Inclusion of GDS-15 questionnaire during structured assessment for complications and risk factors can identify these high-risk patients for more holistic management of their physical and mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number261
JournalFrontiers in Endocrinology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Comorbidities
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Elderly
  • GDS-15
  • Hypoglycaemia


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