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Diabetes and Depression Go Hand-in-Hand
Date:6/17/2008

And doctors need to be aware of the connection, study says

TUESDAY, June 17 (HealthDay News) -- The relationship between diabetes and depression apparently cuts both ways: Not only are people with treated type 2 diabetes at a heightened risk for developing depression, individuals with depression are also at risk for developing diabetes.

The research revelation suggests that both doctors and patients need to be more aware of the dual risks.

"Doctors should have their sensitivity increased toward picking up on the potential for more of their diabetes patients and more of their depression patients having susceptibility to the other disorder," said Dr. Stuart Weiss, assistant clinical professor of medicine at New York University School of Medicine.

Type 2 diabetes and clinical depression tend to go hand in hand, the study authors said, although the question has been, which comes first?

"There have been studies that show people with diabetes are twice as likely to have symptoms of depression as those who don't, and it could either be because depression itself leads to the development of type 2 diabetes or it could be that having diabetes leads to the development of depression," said study lead author Dr. Sherita Hill Golden, an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

"There are several studies showing that depression and depressive symptoms lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, but only a couple of studies showing that diabetes itself leads to depression. We wanted to look to see whether or not we could tease out the chicken-and-egg situation," she said.

Previous studies have also found that treating depression can help extend the lives of people with diabetes.

The authors of the new study performed two analyses, both using information from participants in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis trial.

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