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Bidirectional Association Found Between Diabetes and Depression (Interview with Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS)
Bidirectional Association Found Between Diabetes and Depression (Interview with Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS)

(June 17, 2008 - Insidermedicine) Having treated type 2 diabetes is a risk factor for depression, and depressed individuals are more likely to have lifestyle habits that increase their risk of diabetes, according to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Here are some facts about diabetes and depression:

•    Major depression is associated with an increased number of known cardiac risk factors in patients with diabetes.

•    Assess patients for depression if they have a high level of symptoms associated with diabetes that do not correlate with physical or lab assessments.

•    Depressive symptom severity is associated with poorer diet, medication compliance, and self-care plus functional impairment and higher health care costs.

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University analyzed 5,200 participants with and without depressive symptoms and followed-up for up to five years for the development of diabetes. In a second analysis, over 4,800 participants with and without type 2 diabetes were followed-up for up to five years for the development of depressive symptoms.

Treated diabetes was associated with a 52% increased risk for developing depressive symptoms. Depression was linked with a modest increase in the risk for developing diabetes – from an incidence of 16.6 to 22.0 per 1,000 person years. This increased risk lost significance when factoring lifestyle factors, however.

We had a chance to speak with Dr. Sherita Hill Golden from Johns Hopkins who offered some further insight into this study.

Today’s research elucidates the bidirectional link between diabetes and depression. While the stress of dealing with diabetes treatment may predispose some people to depression, being depressed may predispose others to lead an unhealthy lifestyle, which can lead to diabetes.

For Insidermedicine in Depth, I'm Dr. Susan Sharma.

 
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