Associations between untreated depression and secondary health care utilization in patients with hypertension and/or diabetes

Anita Pálinkás, János Sándor, Magor Papp, László Kőrösi, Zsófia Falusi, László Pál, Zsuzsanna Bélteczki, Zoltán Rihmer, Péter Döme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: We determined the prevalence of untreated depression in patients with hypertension (HT) and/or diabetes (DM) and estimated the extra health care use and expenditures associated with this comorbidity in a rural Hungarian adult population. We also assessed the potential workload of systematic screening for depression in this patient group. Methods: General health check database from a primary care programme containing survey data of 2027 patients with HT and/or DM was linked to the outpatient secondary care use database of National Institute of Health Insurance Fund Management. Depression was ascertained by Beck Depression Inventory score and antidepressant drug use. The association between untreated depression and secondary healthcare utilization indicated by number of visits and expenses was evaluated by multiple logistic regression analysis controlled for socioeconomic/lifestyle factors and comorbidity. The age-, sex- and education-specific observations were used to estimate the screening workload for an average general medical practice. Results: The frequency of untreated depression was 27.08%. The untreated severe depression (7.45%) was associated with increased number of visits (OR 1.60, 95% CI 1.11–2.31) and related expenses (OR 2.20, 95% CI 1.50–3.22) in a socioeconomic status-independent manner. To identify untreated depression cases among patients with HT and/or DM, an average GP has to screen 42 subjects a month. Conclusion: It seems to be reasonable and feasible to screen for depression in patients with HT and/or DM in the primary care, in order to detect cases without treatment (which may be associated with increase of secondary care visits and expenditures) and to initiate the adequate treatment of them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-276
Number of pages22
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 12 2019


  • Comorbid depression
  • Diabetes
  • Health care utilization
  • Hypertension
  • Linkage study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Associations between untreated depression and secondary health care utilization in patients with hypertension and/or diabetes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this