Diabetes Differentially Affects Depression and Self-Rated Health by Age in the U.S.

Diabetes Care, 05/24/2012

Wexler DJ et al. – Diabetes differentially affects self–rated overall health and depression by age, with convergence in the oldest age–group with and without diabetes.


  • Using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a national sample of 3,005 adults aged 57–85 years, the authors tested the significance of the interaction between age and diabetes in association with health states.


  • Respondents with diabetes in the youngest age cohort had more medical conditions than those without diabetes, a difference that narrowed with age (P for interaction <0.01).
  • The youngest cohort with diabetes had a higher rate of depression compared to those without diabetes (14 vs. 8%).
  • Depression declined with age and did not differ by diabetes status in the oldest respondents (P = 0.01 for age-diabetes interaction).

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