Depressive symptoms among elderly diabetic patients in Vietnam

Huyen Thi Thanh Vu, Thanh Xuan Nguyen, Huong Thi Thu Nguyen, Tu Anh Le, Tam Ngoc Nguyen, Anh Trung Nguyen, Thu Thi Hoai Nguyen, Hoang Long Nguyen, Cuong Tat Nguyen, Bach Xuan Tran, Carl A. Latkin, Thang Pham, Melvyn W.B. Zhang, Roger C.M. Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Depression and diabetes are becoming increasingly prevalent within the Vietnamese elderly population. However, the linkage between these health conditions in the Vietnamese elderly has not yet been fully investigated. This study aimed to assess the level of depressive symptoms and associated factors among elderly diabetic patients. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at National Geriatric Hospital in the elder patients aged ≥60 years with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale, with three categories: normal (0–4 points), mild (5–9 points), and moderate/severe depressive symptoms (≥10 points). We obtained information on the patient’s sociodemographic, medical history, glycemic control (fasting plasma glucose and HbA 1c ), daily activities (activities of daily living [ADLs] and instruments activities of daily living [IADLs] scale), and fall risks (Time Up and Go test). Logistic regression was used to analyze the factors associated with the presence of depressive symptoms. Results: Among 412 patients, 236 (57.3%) had HbA 1c level at 7.0% or higher. There were 327 (79.4%) patients having depressive symptoms. The level of HbA 1c was significantly different between the depressive symptom group and the non-depressive symptom group (7.74% and 6.61%, P<0.05). The increased likelihood of having depressive symptoms was associated with having risk of falls (OR: 5.50; 95% CI: 1.88–16.11), suffering from 5–10 years of diabetes (OR: 2.74, 95% CI: 1.28–5.85), uncontrolled fasting plasma glucose (OR: 4.06, 95% CI: 1.81–9.12), and an impairment of IADLs (OR: 5.74, 95% CI: 2.24–14.7). Conclusion: This study highlights a high prevalence of depressive symptoms among elderly T2DM patients in Vietnam, suggesting an urgent need for screening depressive symptoms and providing mental health care services to this population promptly, particularly to those suffering from diabetes for a long period of time or co-functional impairments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)659-665
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy
StatePublished - 2018


  • Depressive symptoms
  • Diabetes
  • Elder
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Pharmacology


Dive into the research topics of 'Depressive symptoms among elderly diabetic patients in Vietnam'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this