AIMS: To determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and its relationship with diabetes in a tsunami affected and a non affected area in Sri Lanka, 3 years after tsunami catastrophe.
Methods: A total of 740 people both male and female above 20 years of age participated. Of these, 425 participants were from tsunami non effected and 315 from effected areas.Prevalence of diabetes was determined by Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG) and 2 hour post glucose test (2hBG) after 75g glucose drink. Prevalence of depressive symptoms was determined using Montgomery Åsburg Depression Rating Scale (MARDS). Potential socio demographic characteristics assessed by structured interview and anthropometric indicators were assessed. In addition, bio-physical measurements were also performed.
Results: Prevalence of depression was significantly higher in females (16.2%) than in males (8.5%) in tsunami non effected subjects while this was 23.5% and 22.1% in males and females respectively, in tsunami effected areas. In those without diabetes, 10.1% and 17.1% of the total subjects had depression, in tsunami non effected and effected areas respectively. Further more, 3.3% and 5.4% subjects had both depression and diabetes in the tsunami non effected and effected areas respectively. Higher age, female gender and presence of high systolic blood pressure were risk factors for developing depression.
Conclusions: Prevalence of Depression and diabetes was higher in the tsunami effected than that of non effected population. Higher age, and higher systolic blood pressure were risk factors for development of depression. Females had higher tendency of developing depression than men.
This may indicate that psychiatric intervention is necessary to be incorporated in the prevention program for diabetes. Furthermore, it is also prime important that disaster management plans should include management of non communicable diseases like diabetes in addition to life saving measures including psychiatric intervention.