June 19, 2006

Kids with type 1 diabetes often depressed

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Symptom of depression are
common among children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes,
according to researchers from Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Dr. Lori M. B. Laffel and colleagues conducted a study with
145 such youngsters, who had had diabetes for an average of
eight years, and their parents.

The researchers used a 27-item self-report questionnaire to
assess depressive symptoms, which was completed by the children
as well as by the parents with regard to their children.

The investigators also used other questionnaires to measure
family conflict specifically related to diabetes management, to
assess emotional responses to the children's high and low blood
glucose values, and to determine the parents' perceived burden
related to diabetes care.

As reported in the medical journal Diabetes Care, Laffel's
team found that 15.2 percent of the young diabetics had
symptoms of depression, which was also tied to poorer control
of blood sugar levels.

Higher levels of diabetes-specific family conflict, whether
reported by parents or children, were associated with higher
depression scores, say the researchers.

They suggest that doctors should pay close attention to the
emotional state of children with diabetes, as well as their
family situation, to promote optimal diabetes management for
these children.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, June 2006.