Article Title

Diabetes Mellitus and Rheumatoid Arthritis Predict Depression Disorder Diagnosis in Nonelderly Adults in Primary Care Settings

Publication Date



depression, electronic health record


Background/Aims: Depressive disorders (DEP) are often comorbid with other chronic conditions. Bidirectional associations between DEP and these conditions are poorly understood. In this study, we aimed to identify chronic conditions with the greatest influence on the DEP diagnosis.

Methods: A validated electronic health record-based algorithm was applied to identify DEP patients receiving primary care at Mayo Clinic between 2000 and 2013. Cases were identified on the basis of having > 2 DEP-related ICD-9 diagnosis codes, > 1 antidepressant prescription, and > 3 mentions of in- or outpatient clinical notes for DEP. Controls were matched on birth year (± 2 years), sex and outpatient clinic visits at the same year. We ascertained 26 chronic condition categories, as defined by Chronic Conditions Data Warehouse, using the 5 years of medical records prior to the DEP diagnosis. For each age group at diagnosis (60 years), gradient boosting machine models were applied to estimate relative influence (RI) of the chronic conditions on the DEP diagnosis.

Results: A total of 11,219 DEP cases were identified (median age at DEP diagnosis 44 years, 34% male and 89% white). The proportion of subjects with at least one co-occurring condition increased with older age and was higher in DEP cases compared to controls (9.5% vs. 6.9% for subjects 60 years). For subjects aged ≤ 45 years, diabetes mellitus (RI=19.6%) was identified as the most influential condition contributing to the risk of DEP, followed by asthma (RI=11.6%) and rheumatoid arthritis (RI=11.0%). For subjects aged 46–60 years, the most influential condition was rheumatoid arthritis (RI=13.2%) followed by diabetes mellitus (RI=12.9%). For subjects older than 60 years, dementia (RI=10.7%) and rheumatoid arthritis (RI=10.2%) showed similar relative contribution to the risk of DEP.

Discussion: Among nonelderly adults who received primary care at Mayo Clinic (2000–2013), diabetes mellitus and rheumatoid arthritis were the strongest risk predictors for a diagnosis of depression among 26 chronic conditions considered. Our results suggest that certain chronic conditions may play a role in exacerbating, precipitating or increasing longitudinal risk of medically significant depression.




April 7th, 2015


April 28th, 2015