Interestingly, people with pre-diabetes or untreated diabetes were about 25 percent less likely to develop depressive symptoms than people with normal fasting blood sugar levels, the researchers said.
"That was a little bit of a surprise," Golden said. The study authors aren't sure why this was so, but suggest that maybe the monitoring associated with treating diabetes might contribute to depression.
The second analysis included 4,847 participants and found that elevated depressive symptoms were associated with a 42 percent greater likelihood of developing diabetes during the follow-up period. The stronger the depressive symptoms, the higher the chance of developing diabetes. After adjusting for such factors as being overweight, not exercising and smoking, the risk of developing diabetes was still 34 percent higher in patients with depression.
"Those with depression are more likely to consume more calories, be less physically active and are more likely to smoke, so they just have poor overall health behaviors in general," Golden said. "That seems to be one component of treating depression that needs to be addressed."
The findings, published in the June 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicate that integration of care may be helpful to these patients, Golden said.
"For people who are being treated for symptoms of depression, it's important also to think about some treatment modalities that can also help them adopt healthy behaviors," she said. "And certainly among people who have treated diabetes and who are at risk of developing depression, we need to be aware of th
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