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Depression more common for adolescents with diabetes, asthma

May 9, 2017
by Tom Valentino, Senior Editor
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Research released this month by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) shows an increased likelihood for major depressive episodes (MDEs) in adolescents with common health conditions compared to their peers without.

Data from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health combined from the years 2005 to 2014 shows 1 in 7 adolescents with diabetes reported having an MDE within the previous year compared to 1 in 11 adolescents without diabetes. Moreover, 11.4% of adolescents with asthma said they had an MDE within the past year compared to 8.8% without.

According to SAMHSA survey data from 2013 to 2015, 20.5% of adolescent girls who were obese or overweight experienced a major depressive disorder compared to 17.4% of those who were a healthy weight.

Major depressive episodes among adolescents overall have been on the rise, increasing from 8.8% of adolescents surveyed for SAMHSA’s 2005 data to 12.5% in 2015. Adolescents who experienced major depressive episodes reported a depressed mood or loss of interest in daily activities for at least two weeks within the past 12 months, with additional symptoms that include problems with sleeping, eating and lack of energy.