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Depression and Diabetes in Workers Across the Life Span: Addressing the Health of America’s Workforce—Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2014–2018

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posted on 20.08.2021, 12:27 by Harpriya Kaur, Juliann C. Scholl, Michelle Owens-Gary
Objective. Diabetes affects nearly 12.2% of U.S. adults. Comorbid depressive symptoms among U.S. workers with diabetes are associated with increased unemployment and reduced work performance. This study examined the age-group–specific prevalence of depression among U.S. workers with self-reported diabetes and identified factors associated with depression.

Methods. Data from the 2014–2018 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were used to examine the prevalence of depression among adult workers with diabetes in the United States. Relationships between depression prevalence and diabetes and demographic, physical, and behavioral risk factors were examined through bivariate and multivariable analyses. Age was categorized into four groups: 18–34, 35–54, 55–64, and ≥65 years.

Results. The overall prevalence of self-reported depression among U.S. workers with diabetes was 17.4%—30% higher than among those without diabetes. Workers with diabetes aged 18–34 years had the highest depression prevalence (28.7%) compared to other age-groups. Female workers with diabetes were significantly more likely than male workers to report depression in all age-groups. Young adult workers with diabetes who had another chronic disease were nearly three times more likely to report depression than those without another chronic condition. There were no overlapping patterns of prevalence of diabetes and depression by state.

Conclusion. Workers with diabetes are at an increased risk of depression, which can affect their overall health and productivity. These findings indicate that, among those with diabetes, young adult workers and women are most likely to have depression. Employee wellness programs may address the specific needs of individuals with diabetes and depression.

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