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Diabetes differentially affects depression and self-rated health by age in the U.S

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the relationship between age and physical and mental health varies by diabetes status in older U.S. adults. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Using data from the National Social Life, Health, and Aging Project, a national sample of 3,005 adults aged 57-85 years, we tested the significance of the interaction between age and diabetes in association with health states. RESULTS: Respondents with diabetes in the youngest age cohort had more medical conditions than those without diabetes, a difference that narrowed with age (P for interaction <0.01). The youngest cohort with diabetes had a higher rate of depression compared to those without diabetes (14 vs. 8%). Depression declined with age and did not differ by diabetes status in the oldest respondents (P = 0.01 for age-diabetes interaction). CONCLUSIONS: Diabetes differentially affects self-rated overall health and depression by age, with convergence in the oldest age-group with and without diabetes.

Authors: Wexler DJ; Porneala B; Chang Y; Huang ES; Huffman JC; Grant RW

Diabetes Care. 2012 Jul;35(7):1575-7. Epub 2012 May 18.

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