Two-Way Link Between Depression and Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes patients should be routinely screened for depressive symptoms

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- There is a modest association between incident type 2 diabetes and depressive symptoms at baseline, according to the results of a study published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Sherita Hill Golden, M.D., of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data from a cohort of U.S. men and women aged 45 to 84, who were enrolled in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis. In the first of two analyses, among 5,201 patients who were non-diabetic at baseline, the risk of incident type 2 diabetes was estimated in depressed and non-depressed patients over the subsequent 3.2 years. The second analysis calculated the odds of developing depressive symptoms over the coming 3.1 years in participants with and without diabetes.

Among patients in the first analysis who had symptoms of depression, there was a 22 percent incidence rate of type 2 diabetes, versus a 16.6 percent incidence rate of diabetes among those without depressive symptoms. In the second analysis, the incidence rates of elevated depressive symptoms for those with normal fasting glucose, impaired fasting glucose, untreated type 2 diabetes and treated type 2 diabetes were 36.8, 27.9, 31.2 and 61.9 per 1,000 person-years, respectively.

"The biological mechanisms by which depression and type 2 diabetes are associated remain unclear," the authors write. "However, the present study contributes to a growing body of literature indicating a bi-directional association between these two serious long-term diseases."

Several of the study authors disclose financial relationships with the pharmaceutical industry.

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