Acta Diabetologica

, Volume 49, Issue 3, pp 199–203 | Cite as

A cross-sectional survey of depression, anxiety, and cognitive function in patients with type 2 diabetes

  • M. TrentoEmail author
  • M. Raballo
  • M. Trevisan
  • J. Sicuro
  • P. Passera
  • L. Cirio
  • L. Charrier
  • F. Cavallo
  • M. Porta
Original Article


To evaluate the prevalence of depression in outpatients with type 2 diabetes and its possible correlation with anxiety, cognitive function, and clinical variables. The Zung Self-Rating Depression and Anxiety Scales and the Mini-Mental-State Examination were administered to 249 non-insulin-treated (NIT) and 249 insulin-treated (IT) outpatients with type 2 diabetes, aged 40–80, in a cross-sectional survey. Compared with a reported prevalence of 6–13% in the general population, 104 (20.9%) patients had either a score indicative of depression or were on anti-depressant medication. Assuming that medication might modify the responses to questionnaires, the latter patients were excluded from further analysis. IT patients had higher age, known duration of diabetes, HbA1c, more foot ulcers, retinopathy, microalbuminuria and practised more self-monitoring of blood glucose (P < 0.01 all) but a slightly lower mean depression score (P = 0.004) and similar anxiety or cognitive function. At multivariate analysis, depression was associated with anxiety (P < 0.001), age (P < 0.001), gender (men having lower scores than women, P = 0.042), and insulin treatment, IT patients being less depressed than NIT (P < 0.001), but none of the clinical variables. Anxiety correlated with age (P < 0.001). The association between depression and anxiety became progressively weaker with increasing age. These data confirm increased prevalence of depression in a population of patients with type 2 diabetes who did not show impaired cognitive function. The lack of correlation with disease duration, metabolic control, and complications suggests that depression may not appear/worsen with diabetes and/or its complications but rather supports suggestions that it might predate both.


Depression Anxiety Cognitive function Type 2 diabetes Metabolic control 



The work described in this paper was supported by funds from University of Turin (fondi ex-60%) and Ricerca Sanitaria Finalizzata Regione Piemonte.

Conflict of interests

No potential conflict of interest relevant to this article was reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Trento
    • 1
    Email author
  • M. Raballo
    • 1
  • M. Trevisan
    • 1
  • J. Sicuro
    • 1
  • P. Passera
    • 1
  • L. Cirio
    • 2
  • L. Charrier
    • 3
  • F. Cavallo
    • 3
  • M. Porta
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Laboratorio di Pedagogia ClinicaUniversità di TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.Corso di Laurea InfermieristicaUniversità di TorinoTurinItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Sanità Pubblica e MicrobiologiaUniversità di TorinoTurinItaly

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