UMDNJ Study Links Depression to Diabetic Retinopathy
NEWARK — Depression is significantly associated with inadequate blood sugar levels and progression of diabetic retinopathy, according to a study by a researcher at University of Medicine of New Jersey - New Jersey Medical School.
Dr. Monique S. Roy of the Institute of Ophthalmology and Visual Science has been the lead investigator on several studies related to the role of type I diabetes in African Americans. She most recently worked with Alec Roy of the Psychiatric Service, Veterans Administration Medical center, East Orange New Jersey, and Mahmoud Affouf, PhD of the Department of Mathematics, Kean University, Union, New Jersey and determined depression as a major risk factor in diabetic complications. Their findings were published in the July/August issue of Psychosomatic Medicine.
“Depression is present in 25 percent of patients with diabetes,” said Dr. Roy. “It should be identified because it appears to have a negative impact on the complications of diabetes, not only in the eye but also in the kidney and heart.”
Roy followed approximately 500 African Americans who were also part of a related study identifying the risk factors of vision loss to African-American diabetics. For this research patients were given a baseline and 6-year follow-up examination that included a depression survey, a detailed ophthalmologic examination, retinal photographs, and measurement of glucose levels. Patients with high scores on the depression survey at the beginning and end of the survey had higher glucose levels and were more likely to show progression of retinopathy.
To request an interview with Dr. Roy please contact Terri Guess at UMDNJ News Service, at (973) 972-3000.
UMDNJ is the nation's largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,500 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and its only school of public health, on five campuses. Last year, there were more than two million patient visits to UMDNJ facilities and faculty at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a mental health and addiction services network.