Treating depression can help extend the lives of people with diabetes, concludes a University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study published in 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%.

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

The Study

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.

In a new study, researchers followed 4,681 I people (average age 73) for 10 years, screening them annually for signs of depression. People with a high number of depression symptoms were 50% to 60% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who were not depressed.

Theory: Depressed people may be more vulnerable to diabetes because they typically have high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can reduce insulin sensitivity (the body's ability to respond to insulin).

If you have been diagnosed with depression: Discuss a possible screening for diabetes with your doctor.

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