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Original Articles

Depressive Symptoms in Children of Women With Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes

Rachael R. Irving, PhD; James L. Mills, MD, PhD; Eric G. Choo-Kang, MD; Errol Y. Morrison, MD, PhD; Rosemarie A. Wright-Pascoe, MD; Wayne A. McLaughlin, PhD; and Anthony M. Mullings, MD

Published: February 15, 2007

Article Abstract

Objective: Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease with increasing prevalence. Individuals with diabetes are at risk for long-term complications such as nephropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular complications. Additionally, several studies have indicated that diabetes doubles the risk for depression. Individuals with depression are also said to be at greater risk for developing diabetes. Studies have shown depressive symptoms to be higher in children with diabetes than in those without the disease. This study measured depressive symptoms in children without diabetes of women with recently diagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Method: Fifty children whose mothers were newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes were assessed with the Children’s Depression Rating Scale, Revised (CDRS-R) to measure the psychological impact of the mothers’ newly diagnosed diabetes on their children. This cross-sectional study was conducted in public and private clinics from April 2001 to June 2003.

Results: Sixty percent of children (N = 30) whose mothers were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes had CDRS-R scores consistent with likely or very likely having major depressive disorders. Mean ± SD CDRS-R scores were highest in children of women with diabetes affecting greater than or equal to 3 generations of their families (68.2 ± 8.9, p = .02).

Conclusion: The findings suggest that depressive symptoms are common in children of women with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. Severity of depressive symptoms positively correlated with the number of generations of diabetes in the family.

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