Diabetes and Depression Screening

December 26, 2019

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Anchor lead: Among those with diabetes it’s critical to ask about depression, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Diabetes, even when blood sugar is under control, is a risk factor for developing depression. Sherita Golden, a diabetes expert at Johns Hopkins, says this association isn’t as well-publicized as things like the link with cardiovascular disease, but it can be every bit as deadly.

Golden: In the Diabetes Center we screen for depression by asking those two questions: do you have a depressed mood? Have you lost interest in your activities? Each of those questions is scored on a scale of zero to three. If you score a combined score of three or greater when you answer those questions, you have about a 75% likelihood of having some type of depressive disorder, and so then you should be referred to a mental health professional.   :25

Golden says family members of those with diabetes need to be on the lookout for common signs of depression, such as sleeping too little or too much, weight loss or weight gain, or even growing difficulty managing the sometimes complex diet and medication regimens needed to keep diabetes under control, and says the provider should be made aware. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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