Patients with diabetes who also suffer from depression are more likely to develop a serious complication known as diabetic retinopathy, a disease that damages the eye's retina, a five-year study finds. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when diabetes is not properly managed and is now the leading cause of blindness in patients between 25 and 74 years old, according to the study appearing online in the journal General Hospital Psychiatry.

"Our study controlled for obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and HbA1c levels, and still found that depression was associated with an increased risk of retinopathy," said co-author Wayne Katon, M.D. HbA1c is a blood test that measures a person's average blood sugar levels over several months. Katon is the director of health services and psychiatric epidemiology at the University of Washington Medical School, in Seattle. He and his colleagues studied 2,359 patients with diabetes enrolled in the Pathways Epidemiologic Study and assessed their levels of depression using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9), a self-reported survey of depression symptoms.

Over the five-year follow-up period, 22.9 percent of the patients who had PHQ-9 scores that ranked as "major depression" developed diabetic retinopathy, compared with 19.7 percent of the patients without depression. With a five-point increase on the PHQ-9 score, patients' risk of having diabetic retinopathy increased by up to 15 percent. "Our findings suggested that psychobiologic changes associated with depression such as increased cortisol levels and activity of blood-clotting factors may be linked to the development of retinopathy," Katon said. "There is no question that the burden of depression among patients with diabetes is very high and that depression is a risk factor for worse outcomes in patients with diabetes, as was seen in this study," said Todd Brown, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine at the division of endocrinology and metabolism at Johns Hopkins University. He added that multiple explanations might account for these findings-some related to biological changes and some due to behavioral social issues, such as decreased physical activity and poorer utilization of health care. "The big question with all of this is whether identifying and treating depression in patients with diabetes will change clinical outcomes," Brown said. "And currently, there are no universal recommendations for depression screening among patients with diabetes."

15 Replies

  • There are very good medicines to fight depression.

  • Ahy eye depression can cause many other harms as well. I believe yoga is best to fight and get rid of depression.

  • Meditation is always suggestible to fight depression

  • Reducing HBA1C takes care of many complications. Low CARB HIgh FAT lifestyle that 's why so popular amongst diabetics world over.

  • Good Sir.Would you pl suggest Low CARB High FAT foods available for diabetic patients and for a person whose F/PP is 126/198 what type of such foods are available in India, especially in South India? Is this okay for all diabetic patients?

  • I have been talking only low carb high fat diet most of the time here.


    No hurry to start this. Please spend time understanding everything from all posts and also links that i have posted in many posts. Once you are ready you can start your own thread. All foods are available it's just about adjusting what to take and what not to take.

    Bottom line is to CUT Carbohydrates. So once you have gone through all details you can start a post and then we can discuss the same.

  • Dear Anup, I am very much impressed by your LCHF diet chart. .I am Diabetic and kidney patient and suppose to take low protein , low potassium diet. I wish I could take chicken, fish, eggs ,nuts & other food items mentioned by you in LCHF diet. Please advice.

  • While broadly concurring with the original post, may I suggest that Stress is a more wider word than depression. People with stress may not have depression but they/their body is unable to cope with the demands of their professional and personal life.

  • With the use of natural therapy , stress , diabetes , joints pain , without taking any medicine , can be reduced to minimum level . No side effects .


    More and more cases we come across of diabetic patients suggests the fact that Diabetes is killer disease why only eyes , other organ of the same body where ever the blood reaches ( every cell of the body ) is the target of that killer disease.

    Depression is associated with " Mind" and to treat it medicine ( even Ayurvedic ) is of almost No help.

    Best Remedy for the both Depression And DIABETES IS YOG . With my own experience on SELF and few other patients learning Yog with me are the proofs .

    Those who want help on this subject , may contact :_ 981 9852161

  • i dnt know what to comnt iam too in dipression due to my buissness and some time water come from my left eye which is chipcipa tipe is it serious? any tipe of eye drop is supose to be taken

  • Dear, Please start pranayama in limited way,early morning , to start with, and simultaneously consult a good eye specialist, or hospital.

  • Dear Vinod , Your forth point is well taken because my father used to see the sun and in later stage around 70 years of age , his spacticals were removed and vision became normal . I also started now and hope I will also get normal vision after some time .


  • To improve the quality of vision,and to restore from the depressive mood of actions the following line of treatment are advised which may continued for 6months. recheck for vision test and mental ability test . .please sent the e-mail id to deliver the line of treatment and the list of medicines and their restrictions

  • yoga vth pranayama removes d wastes frm deep ie each n every cells vl get cleansed so not d body only but our mind too.doing eye exercises very benificial.look to d sun vth closed eyes move d eye updown side to side diagonal rotate clock n anticlockwise 5-5times.increase slowly d number of times.finaly rub both palms together n keep that warm palm on d eyes.this is one good exercise for about water :don't use warm or hot water to eye bcaus eye is warm by nature.don't pour warm n hot water on head during bath ,it vl make damage to is gud tu use a sqweezed towel in hot water for head if necessery.

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