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Clinical Summary

Younger Age at Diabetes Diagnosis Linked to Higher Risk of Depression


  • Younger age at type 2 diabetes (T2D) diagnosis was associated with higher levels of depressive symptoms and diabetes-specific distress as well as lower levels of self-compassion.

Why This Matters

  • Findings emphasise the need for clinical vigilance and the availability of age-appropriate psychosocial support to improve the psychological well-being of younger adults with T2D.

Study Design

  • This study included 706 participants (age 18-74 years) using data from the Chronotype of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes and Effect on Glycaemic Control (2017-2020).
  • Funding: National Institute for Health and Care Research and others.

Key Results

  • Of 706 participants, 64 (9.1%), 422 (59.8%), and 220 (31.2%) were diagnosed with T2D at the age of <40 years, between 40 and 59 years, and ≥60 years, respectively.
  • Younger age at diagnosis was significantly associated with (adjusted β; 95% CI):
    • higher levels of:
      • depressive symptoms (−0.18; −0.25 to −0.10); and
      • diabetes-specific distress (−0.03; −0.04 to −0.02).
    • lower levels of self-compassion (0.01; 0.00 to 0.02; P<0.01 for all).
  • Diabetes duration modified the association between younger age at T2D diagnosis and diabetes-specific distress (P<0.05).
  • The association of younger age at T2D diagnosis with depressive symptoms and self-compassion was not modified by diabetes duration.


  • Cross-sectional design.
  • Risk of unmeasured confounding.