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Childhood Trauma and Depressive Symptoms in Type 1 Diabetes

J Clin Psychiatry 2011;72(8):1049-1053

Background: To examine the relationship of childhood trauma to depressive symptoms in type 1 diabetes, a chronic disease in which the frequency of depression is increased.

Method: One hundred fifty African American patients with type 1 diabetes seen between August 1993 and January 1998 completed the Beck Depression Inventory and Childhood Trauma Questionnaire. They were also genotyped for a functional serotonin transporter promoter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) that modulates resiliency. Patients who had Beck Depression Inventory scores above and below 14 were compared.

Results: Diabetic patients who had Beck Depression Inventory scores ≥ 14 had experienced significantly more different types of childhood trauma than those with Beck Depression Inventory scores < 14 (P < .001), independent of potential interaction with 5-HTTLPR genotype.

Conclusions: Childhood trauma appears to be a determinant of depressive symptoms in type 1 diabetes, independently of genotype of a functional locus modulating resiliency.

J Clin Psychiatry 2011;72(8):1049–1053

Submitted: November 25, 2009; accepted January 27, 2010.

Online ahead of print: October 19, 2010 (doi:10.4088/JCP.09m05857blu).

Corresponding author: Alec Roy, MD, Psychiatry Service (116A), Department of Veterans Affairs, NJHCS, 385 Tremont Ave, East Orange, NJ 07018 (Alec.Roy@va.gov).