Objective. To examine the role of self-reported depressive symptoms in predicting hospitalization for complications of diabetes mellitus over a period of up to 2 years.
Study Design. Two hundred thirty-one adolescent outpatients (age range: 11–18 years) with type 1 diabetes completed the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, a self-report measure of depressive symptoms. Glycosylated hemoglobin levels were also assessed, to account for this known predictor of hospitalization. With survival analysis methods, hospitalizations for medical complications that occurred up to 2 years after this assessment were recorded.
Results. After controlling for age, gender, socioeconomic status, and glycosylated hemoglobin levels at baseline, the odds ratio for prediction offered by Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale scores above the cutoff point (12 for boys and 22 for girls) was 2.58 (95% confidence interval: 1.12–5.98).
Conclusions. Young people with type 1 diabetes who show high levels of depressive symptoms are at increased risk for hospitalization for disease complications. Interventions aimed at improving their depressive symptoms may result in positive health outcomes, as well as improved quality of life.