Open Access Research article

Prevalence of co-morbid depression in out-patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in Bangladesh

Tapash Roy15*, Cathy E Lloyd2, Masuma Parvin3, Khondker Galib B Mohiuddin4 and Mosiur Rahman5

Author Affiliations

1 BRAC Health Programme, Dhaka, Bangladesh & Division of Research in Medicines and Health, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK

2 Faculty of Health & Social Care, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

3 Medical Education & Research Unit, Ministry of Health, Government of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh

4 School of Business, North South University, Dhaka, Bangladesh

5 BRAC Health Programme, BRAC Centre (16th Floor), 75 Mohakhali, Dhaka, 1212, Bangladesh

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Psychiatry 2012, 12:123  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-12-123

Published: 22 August 2012



Little is known about the prevalence of depression in people with diabetes in Bangladesh. This study examined the prevalence and factors associated with depression in out-patients with Type 2 diabetes in Bangladesh.


In this cross-sectional study a random sample of 483 diabetes out-patients from three diabetes clinics in Bangladesh was invited to participate. Of them 417 patients took part. Depressive symptoms were measured using previously developed and culturally standardized Bengali and Sylheti versions of the World HealthOrganization-5 Well Being Index (WHO-5) and the Patient Health Questionairre-9 (PHQ-9) with predefined cut-off scores. Data was collected using two different modes; e.g. standard assisted collection and audio questionnaire methods. Associations between depression and patient characteristics were explored using regression analysis.


The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 34% (PHQ-9 score ≥ 5) and 36% (WHO-5 score < 52) with audio questionnaire delivery method. The prevalence rates were similar regardless of the type (PHQ-9 vs. WHO-5) and language (Sylheti vs. Bengali) of the questionnaires, and methods of delivery (standard assisted vs. audio methods). The significant predictors of depressive symptoms using either the PHQ-9 or WHO-5 questionnaires were; age, income, gender, treatment intensity, and co-morbid cardiovascular disease. Further, depression was strongly associated with poor glycaemic control and number of co-morbid conditions.


This study demonstrated that depression prevalence is common in out-patients with type 2 diabetes in Bangladesh. In a setting where recognition, screening and treatment levels remain low, health care providers need to focus their efforts on diagnosing, referring and effectively treating this important disease in order to improve service delivery.

Diabetes; Depression; Prevalence; Risk factors; Bangladesh