Association of Major Depression and Diabetes in Medically Indigent Puerto Rican Adults

Orville M. Disdier


Background: Studies have found that major depression and diabetes mellitus are strongly associated. The main goal of this study was to evaluate the association between major depression and diabetes in a large medically indigent population of Puerto Rican adults living on the island. Methods: A secondary database analysis through a cross-sectional design was used for this study. Participants were selected from the Puerto Rico Commonwealth Health Plan database, beneficiaries of the public health sector. Adult’s subjects with at least one claim during 2002 were included. The final sample consisted of 1,026,625 adult insured. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) was used for disease classifications. Results: The prevalence of diabetes was 14.6% in subjects with major depression and 9.7% for those without major depression (POR 1.59, p < 0.001). The strength of this association remained after adjusting for obesity and sex. Conclusions: Prevalence of diabetes appears to be significantly higher in Puerto Rican adults with major depression compared to those without this psychiatric disorder. Longitudinal prospective studies and randomized controlled trials are needed to shed light on the temporal or causal relationship and to test whether effective prevention and treatment can reduce the risk of developing diabetes. [P R Health Sci J 2010;1:30-35]


major depression; diabetes; Puerto Rico

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