Monday morning, back-to-work blues can affect everyone. But if you are one of the 8 per cent of Hong Kong adults with diabetes, the chances are you'll be hit harder than your work colleagues. A Chinese University study released yesterday concludes that diabetics suffer higher levels of stress and depression than the rest of the population. Nearly a third of all diabetics have mood disorders and about 70 per cent say the disease causes stress in their work, sex and social lives. The three-month study involved interviews with 333 patients at the Diabetes and Endocrine Centre at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Lee Sung Yee, a professor at the university's faculty of medicine, said more family doctors needed to be aware of the stresses associated with diabetes. He said diabetes had long-term psychological effects on most patients. 'Our study shows that about one-third of patients suffer mood disorders including depression, frustration and a sense of hopelessness,' Dr Lee explained. 'About 70 per cent say they experience significant stresses in different domains of their life including at work, eating out or in their home life. 'This has a serious effect on their self-confidence and it means they are much more likely to get depressed.' Beyond the adverse effects on their occupational, social and sex lives, about 70 per cent also reported suffering discrimination when applying for jobs and buying insurance. Compared to diabetics without mood disorders, subjects with mood disorders were more likely to have failed to comply with medical and dietary instructions and felt more frustrated during treatment. They also had higher suicidal tendencies. In Hong Kong, these disorders are rapidly increasing, with about 8 per cent of the adult population being diabetic. Diabetes is usually associated with complications including strokes, heart disease, impaired vision, amputation, impotence and kidney disease. Diabetes is even more serious for patients who also have high blood pressure or blood-fat levels.