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American Diabetes Association, Diabetes Care, 10(42), p. 1865-1872, 2019

DOI: 10.2337/dc19-0813



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The Prospective Association Between Inflammation and Depressive Symptoms in Type 2 Diabetes Stratified by Sex

This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.
This paper was not found in any repository, but could be made available legally by the author.

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OBJECTIVE We tested whether inflammation is associated with worsening depressive symptoms in type 2 diabetes and examined whether sex moderated this association. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In a prospective cohort study of people with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, we measured depressive symptoms over a 2-year follow-up using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). The independent variable was a composite inflammation burden score at diagnosis of diabetes, derived from hs-CRP, white cell count, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-1 receptor antagonist, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor concentrations. General linear models assessed 1) the association between overall inflammation burden and estimated marginal mean PHQ-9 score (ln transformed) at 2 years and 2) whether sex interacted with elevated inflammation burden (above-median score) in predicting change in PHQ-9 score. Models were adjusted for age, ethnicity, BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, HbA1c, antidepressants, anti-inflammatory medications, and baseline ln PHQ-9 score. RESULTS Of 1,174 people with complete inflammation data, mean (SD) age was 56.7 (11.0) years and 46.1% were of nonwhite ethnicity and 44.1% female. After full adjustment, inflammation burden was not associated with worsening ln PHQ-9 score (P = 0.65). However, female sex interacted with elevated inflammation in predicting higher 2-year ln PHQ-9 score (β = 0.32, P = 0.005), showing that the difference by inflammation burden in females was 0.32 larger than in males. In post hoc comparisons, ln PHQ-9 score was higher in females than males with elevated inflammation (P = 0.003) but not with low inflammation (P = 0.34) burden. CONCLUSIONS In type 2 diabetes, female sex confers specific vulnerability to the effects of inflammation on depressive symptoms.