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Treating Depression Cuts Diabetes Death Risk

The two conditions are sometimes closely linked, research suggests

FRIDAY, Dec. 21, 2007 (HealthDay News) -- Treating depression can help extend the lives of people with diabetes, concludes a University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study in the December issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

It found that providing depression care management to older adults with diabetes and depression reduced the risk of death over five years by about 50 percent.

"Depression is common among people with diabetes and contributes to issues with medication and diet adherence and also leads to an overall reduced quality of life," study lead author Dr. Hillary R. Bogner, an assistant professor in the department of family practice and community medicine, said in a prepared statement.

The study included 584 people, ages 60 to 94, with depression. Of these patients, 123 had a history of diabetes. The participants were randomly assigned to receive either usual care or depression care management, which involved a depression care manager who worked with the patient's primary care provider to recommend treatment for depression and help patients adhere to their treatment program.

Patients with diabetes who received depression care management were less likely to have died at the end of five years of follow-up than patients with diabetes who received usual care.

The findings support the integration of depression evaluation and treatment with diabetes management in primary care, the study authors concluded.

More information

The American Diabetes Association has more about diabetes and depression.

SOURCE: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, news release, December 2007
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