BACKGROUND: The effect of depression on both employment and productivity in type 2 diabetes (T2D) is poorly understood. AIMS: We tested whether depressive symptoms at diagnosis of T2D are associated with change in employment status and productivity over 2-year follow-up. METHODS: In a prospective analysis of working-age (18-63 years) people with newly diagnosed T2D recruited from primary care, we tested the association between depressive symptoms at diagnosis of T2D (baseline) and employment rates over 2 years. Using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9, depressive symptoms were measured categorically (depression caseness score ≥10) and continuously. In those employed, we measured changes in presenteeism and absenteeism using the World Health Organization (WHO) Health and Work Performance Questionnaire in univariate and multivariate models, respectively, including and excluding part-time workers. RESULTS: Of 1202 people aged 18-63 at baseline, 982 (82%) provided employment information; the mean age was 50.3 (SD 8.1) years, 44% were female, 59% of non-white ethnicity and 16% had depression. After adjustment for age, sex, ethnicity, socio-economic status, diabetes control and depression treatment, depression caseness was associated with worsening unemployment over 2 years only in full-time workers (odds ratio 0.43 (95% CI 0.20, 0.96), P < 0.05). In those employed full-time or part-time, total depressive symptoms were associated with worsening presenteeism over 2 years after full adjustment (β = -2.63 (95% CI -4.81, -0.45), P < 0.05), despite no association with worsening absenteeism. CONCLUSIONS: In newly diagnosed T2D, depressive symptoms demonstrate an association with worsening employment rate and decline in work productivity over 2-year follow-up.
- depressive symptoms
- type 2 diabetes