Prevalence of depression among elderly Chinese with diabetes

Kee Lee CHOU, Iris CHI

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Background   To examine the association between diabetes and depression among older Chinese and to determine the extent to which depression is mediated by physical disability and diabetes‐related comorbid conditions.
Method   Cross‐sectional analysis of data from a population‐based study composed of a representative sample of 2003 non‐institutionalized older adults aged 60 and older living in Hong Kong who agreed to participate in the study. We examined the relation between diabetes and depression (measured with the Geriatric Depression Scale).
Result   12% of the older adults reported physician‐diagnosed diabetes and amongst these older persons with diabetes, 26% of them reported elated level of depressive symptoms. Logistic regression analyses revealed that diabetes was significantly related to depression even when controlling for age, gender, marital status, and education. More importantly, adjusted for self‐reported disability in three domains including self‐care, mobility, and higher functioning did not attenuate this association but the association disappeared after we adjusted for four diabetes‐related complications including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and vision problems.
Conclusion   Diabetes is associated with depression and this association appears to be mediated by prevalent diabetes complications. This is of particular clinical important because although depression is often overlooked in the aged population, effective treatment is available and can result in improved medical outcomes. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)570-575
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


Chou, K.-L., & Chi, I. (2005). Prevalence of depression among elderly Chinese with diabetes. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 20(6), 570-575. doi: 10.1002/gps.1328


  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Elderly Chinese


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