Diabetes + Depression = Increased Risk of Death

Release Date: February 13, 2013 | By Glenda Fauntleroy, HBNS Contributing Writer
Research Source: General Hospital Psychiatry

KEY POINTS

  • People living with diabetes who also have untreated depression are at increased risk of death.
  • Depression can make diabetes self-care more difficult and lead to complications from the disease.
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People living with diabetes who also have untreated depression are at increased risk of death, according to a new evidence review in General Hospital Psychiatry.

More than 42,000 patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and depression were analyzed in the review. The reviewers discovered that depression was associated with a 1.5 fold increase in the risk of dying. In four of the studies reviewed, co-morbid depression was linked to about a 20 percent higher risk of cardiovascular death for people with diabetes.

Diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the U.S., according to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, and about 30 percent of these people also experience symptoms of depression.

“Depression consistently increased the risk of mortality across virtually all studies,” said Mijung Park, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing. “We can now postulate that the harmful effect of depression is universal to individuals with diabetes.”

Todd Brown, M.D., associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said it is very common to see a patient go into a downward spiral when obesity-related co-morbidities, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and depression converge.

“Obesity can lead to worsening metabolic status that can lead to hopelessness and decreased physical activity, which in turns worsens obesity, and the cycle continues,” he explained.

The encouraging news is that depression is a highly treatable condition, said Park. Because depression can make diabetes self-care more difficult and lessen quality of life, she suggested that depression treatment should be included in overall diabetes care strategies.

TERMS OF USE: This story is protected by copyright. When reproducing any material, including interview excerpts, attribution to the Health Behavior News Service, part of the Center for Advancing Health, is required. While the information provided in this news story is from the latest peer-reviewed research, it is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment recommendations. For medical questions or concerns, please consult a health care provider.

For More Information:

Reach CFAH's Health Behavior News Service at hbns-editor@cfah.org or (202) 387-2829.

General Hospital Psychiatry is a peer-reviewed research journal published bimonthly by Elsevier Inc.  For information about the journal, contact Wayne Katon, M.D., at (206) 543-7177.

Park M, Katon W, et al. Depression and risk of mortality in individuals with diabetes: a meta-analysis and systematic review. General Hospital Psychiatry. In Press, 2013.
 

Tags for this article:
Diabetes   Participate in your Treatment   Seek Knowledge about your Health   Depression/Anxiety  



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