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Feeling Blue May Increase Your Diabetes Risk

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Feeling Blue May Increase Your Diabetes Risk

Feeling Blue May Increase Your Diabetes Risk

November 13, 2007

By: Michelle Rizzo for Diabetes1

In a population-based nested case-control study, a group of Canadian researchers examined whether people with a history of depressive episode were at increased risk compared to those without such a history to develop Type 2 diabetes. The researchers, led by Dr. Jeffrey A. Johnson, of the University of Alberta, used the administrative databases of Saskatchewan Health to identify cases of Type 2 diabetes among people at least 20 years of age.

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Could you be suffering from depression? Common symptoms include:

Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood

Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness

Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex

Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"

Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions

Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping

Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain

Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts

Restlessness, irritability

Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Two non-diabetic control subjects were randomly chosen for each case subject. The team used diagnostic codes and antidepressant prescriptions to ascertain history of depression up to three years before the index date. They estimated odds ratios by using simple and multivariate logistic regression analyses adjusting for various factors. Results of their study were published in the journal Diabetes Care.

Data for 92,677 subjects were examined. Of these, 33,257 were case subjects. Of the 33,257 patients with newly diagnosed diabetes, 1,622 (4.9 percent) had a previous history of depression, compared with 2,279 (3.8 percent) of the 59,420 non-diabetic patients.

“The major finding from our study was that people with a history of depression had an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes in the future,” said Dr. Johnson. This risk was highest in people 20 to 50 years of age, and they had a 23 percent higher risk of developing diabetes in the future compared to people without depression,” he noted. “People aged 51 years and older with depression did not seem to have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes compared to people of the same age without depression.”

The researchers are currently looking at whether the type of antidepressant therapy used to treat depression may increase the risk of diabetes. “Different antidepressant have different side effects associated with them, including weight gain and drowsiness, which could potentially contribute to developing Type 2 diabetes,” said Johnson. “The results of this study may help guide how physicians should be treating their patients with depression.”

Sources: Diabetes Care volume 28:1063-1067
Jeffrey Johnson Interview

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