Depression among Adult Diabetics in the UAE

  • Shatha . Al-Sharbatti Department of Community medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates
  • Mahir K. Jallo Consultant internal medicine and endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Thumbay University Hospital, Ajman, United Arab Emirates
  • Muhannad A. Wahib Specialist psychiatry
  • Jayadevan . Sreedharan Department of Community medicine, Gulf Medical University, Ajman, United Arab Emirates
Keywords: Adults, Depression, Diabetes, Risk.


Background: Diabetes and depression are costly and prevalent chronic medical conditions. Limited data about the relationship between depression and diabetes in the UAE Objectives: To assess the risk of depression among diabetics in the UAE Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among 20 -year-old- and above adults attending the medical outpatients of a teaching hospital, Ajman, with no prior diagnosis of depression and who agreed to participate and give informed consent. The participants were recruited conveniently and screened for depression using beck depression inventory second edition (BDI-II) questionnaire. A validated pilot-tested self-administered questionnaire was also used, including information on socioeconomic status, lifestyle, being diagnosed to have diabetes. Results: The study included 775 participants; 189 had depressive symptoms (24.4%). A significant association was found between depression and gender and education level (p=0.001 for both variables). The percentage of depression was significantly higher among participants diagnosed with diabetes (p=0.016). Performing regular physical activity was associated with a lower rate of depression. Multiple logistic analysis showed that the risk of depression is increased by; gender (being a female compared to a male, or: 2.374 (CI: 1.644 - 3.428, p < 0.001); having a lower education level compared to a higher (or: 1.744, CI:11.155 - 2.635, p=0.008); being diabetic (or 1.656, 1.125 - 2.436, p=0.01). Performing physical activity reduces the risk for depression (or 0.521, CI: 0.298-0.909, p=0.022). Conclusion: Diabetes increases the risk of depression. Predictors of depression are gender and having diabetes. Performing physical activity reduces the risk of depression.