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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Major Depression in Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy in a Nationally Representative Survey.

Ophthalmic Epidemiology 2023 January 27
PURPOSE: Evaluate the prevalence and risk factors of depression in diabetic retinopathy (DR). Compare subjective and objective measures of visual function predictivity of depression.

METHODS: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005-2008 participants aged ≥40 who underwent fundus photography, Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)-9, and Visual Function Questionnaire (VFQ-25) were included in the study. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate whether DR was a significant risk factor for depression and to evaluate the risk factors for depression in those with DR.

RESULTS: A total of 5704 participants, 47% male, and mean age 56.5 years were included in this study. Persons with moderate, severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), or proliferative retinopathy (PDR) had higher prevalence of depression than participants with mild retinopathy or no retinopathy (14.3%, 6.9%, 7.0%). Moderate-to-severe NPDR or PDR (OR: 2.36, p = .04) was associated with depression. Among persons with DR, best-corrected visual acuity and HbA1c were not associated with depression. However, self-reported measures of vision were associated with depression: some of the time spent worrying about eyesight (OR: 4.59, p = .010), vision limit activities some of the time (OR: 8.52, p < .001), vision limits activities most/all of the time (OR: 6.99, p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: A significant proportion of patients with DR in the NHANES population had co-morbid major depression. Best corrected visual acuity was not associated with depression in those with DR, while subjective, self-reported measures were associated with depression, suggesting subjective measures are a better determinant of poor mood and low functional status.

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