Depression in diabetes mellitus: a comprehensive review

Hippokratia 2012; 16(3):205-214

E. Andreoulakis, T. Hyphantis, D. Kandylis, A. Iacovides


Although the prevalence of a mental disorder, in general, in patients with diabetes mellitus is regarded to be comparable to the general population, an increased prevalence of depressive disorders, often comorbid with anxiety, has been reported in patients with diabetes mellitus. The co-occurrence of depression in diabetes is attributed to a variety of factors, including the psychological and psychosocial impact of the disease, a potential common genetic susceptibility and common pathophysiological abnormalities involving neuroimmunological and neuroendocrinical pathways, as well as microvascular brain lesions due to diabetes mellitus. However, issues concerning pathogenesis and causality of this high co-occurrence are not fully determined yet. Still, the presence of depression in patients with diabetes mellitus is of vast importance, as it is usually associated with poor disease control, adverse health outcomes and quality of life impairment. This article aims to provide a comprehensive review of epidemiological findings, clinical considerations and management strategies concerning depression in patients with diabetes mellitus.