Garey, C, Clements, M, McAuliffe-Fogarty, A, Obrynba, K, Weinstock, R, Majidj, S, Ross, C, Rioles, N


The prevalence of depression among adolescents with type 1 diabetes is estimated to be 2–3 times higher than in the general population. In adults with type 1 diabetes and depression, short-term outcomes are worse compared to individuals just diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. This study aims to determine if depressive symptom endorsement is associated with glycemic outcomes and short-term complications in adolescents with type 1 diabetes.

Research Design and Methods

Analysis was conducted using electronic medical records from the T1D Exchange Quality Improvement Collaborative. Adolescents with type 1 diabetes, aged 12–18, receiving treatment in a diabetes clinic who had been screened for depression with the PHQ-9 between 2016 and 2018 were eligible for inclusion. Individuals must have also had HbA1c data available from the day of depression screening and from 10 to 24 weeks after screening; the final sample size was 1714.


Almost 30% of adolescents endorsed mild or greater (PHQ-9 ≥ 5) depressive symptoms. Endorsement of mild or greater depressive symptoms was associated with an 18% increased risk of an HbA1c ≥7.5% and a 42% increased risk of an HbA1c ≥9.0% on the day of screener administration. Depressive symptom endorsement was also associated with an 82% increased risk for DKA.


This study suggests that depression symptoms are associated with an increased risk for elevated HbA1c and short-term complications. With the rising incidence of type 1 diabetes in youth, routine screening, and appropriate management of depression is needed.

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