February 28, 2013

Depression and Eating Behaviors in Teenage Girls with T1D


teenage-girlsThe first thing that comes to mind when I think of teenagers is the movie Clueless. 

Diabetes and depression were nowhere in the plot of this good-natured but superficial story. The study published in Pediatric Diabetes tells a different story.

Depression and disturbed eating behavior are more common in teenage girls with T1D than in the general population, and may negatively affect metabolic control.

The study looked at 98 girls with T1D, between the ages of 9-14 years old.  The study lasted 5 years. Throughout the study physical assessments were conducted, as well as an interview for symptoms of depression and disturbed eating behavior.

After the end of the study, greater than 12% of girls reported current depressive symptoms, 49% reported current disturbed eating behavior, and over 13% had a full or tendencies of an eating disorder.

Eating Disorder Examination score was higher in girls with depression and 75% of girls with depression also endorsed disturbed eating behaviors.

Girls with an eating disorder were at high risk for depressive symptoms. Almost 70% reported depressive symptoms versus 22% of girls with no disturbed eating behaviors.

Depression and disturbed eating behaviors were common and frequently concurrent in this study. Of interest, poor metabolic control was not strongly associated with either depression or disturbed eating behaviors.

Early detection and treatment may help to prevent the development of difficulties in perfect storm of mood, eating behavior, and metabolic control in a teenage girls with T1D.


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