Depression symptoms and antidepressant medicine use in diabetes prevention program participants

Richard R. Rubin, William C. Knowler, Yong Ma, David G. Marrero, Sharon L. Edelstein, Elizabeth A. Walker, Sanford A. Garfield, Edwin B. Fisher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - To assess depression markers (symptoms and antidepressant medicine use) in Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) participants and to determine whether changes in depression markers during the course of the study were associated with treatment arm, weight change, physical activity level, or participant demographic characteristics. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - DPP participants (n = 3,187) in three treatment arms (intensive lifestyle, metformin, and placebo) completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and reported on use of antidepressant medicines at randomization and subsequently at each annual visit (average duration in study 3.2 years). RESULTS - On study entry, 10.3% of participants had BDI scores ≧ 11, which was used as a threshold for mild depression, 5.7% took antidepressant medicines, and 0.9% had both depression markers. During the DPP, the proportion of participants with elevated BDI scores declined (from 10.3% at baseline to 8.4% at year 3), while the proportion taking antidepressant medicines increased (from 5.7% at baseline to 8.7% at year 3), leaving the proportion with either marker unchanged. These time trends were not significantly associated with the DPP treatment arm. Depression markers throughout the study were associated with some participant demographic factors, adjusted for other factors. Men were less likely to have elevated depression scores and less likely to use antidepressant medicine at baseline (9.0% of men and 17.9% of women had at least one marker of depression) and throughout the study (P <0.0001). Those with more education were less likely to have elevated symptom scores (P = 0.0007) but more likely to be taking antidepressant medicine (P = 0.002). Non-Hispanic white participants were less likely than African Americans to have BDI scores ≥11 (P = 0.03), but white participants were more likely to be taking antidepressant medicine than any other racial/ethnic group (P <0.0001). CONCLUSIONS - DPP participation was not associated with changes in levels of depression. Countervailing trends in the proportion of DPP participants with elevated depression symptoms and the proportion taking antidepressant medicine resulted in no significant change in the proportion with either marker. The finding that those taking antidepressant medicine often do not have elevated depression symptoms indicates the value of assessing both markers when estimating overall depression rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830-837
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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