Depression Can Hamper Diabetes Control

Demanding insulin regimes also linked to poor management of blood sugar disease

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SATURDAY, June 5, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Depression and demanding insulin regimes are linked to poor diabetes control, according to a Duke University Medical Center study of 1,000 people with diabetes.

The Duke researchers found depressed diabetic patients who have to self-administer at lease three insulin shots per day have a much greater risk of having poor control over their disease than diabetics who require less or no insulin.

The researchers note depression only affects diabetes control in some patients. But they recommend that diabetes patients who require higher amounts of insulin pay close attention to symptoms of depression.

"We know that patients who require more insulin on a daily basis have less residual pancreatic activity and a more difficult time regulating their glucose levels," Richard Surwit, vice chairman of research, department of psychiatry and behavioral medicine, said in a prepared statement.

"Their metabolic control is going to be more vulnerable to disruption by behavioral and neuroendocrine factors. This means that at any level of depression, diabetics who experience more difficulty regulating their glucose levels are more likely to get thrown even farther off balance by depression," Surwit said.

The study was presented June 5 at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association in Orlando, Fla.

More information

The U.S. National Diabetes Education Program offers four steps to control your diabetes.

SOURCE: Duke University Medical Center, news release, June 5, 2004

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