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Depression a risk factor for diabetes

There is a known link between depression and diabetes. Some studies show people with type 2 diabetes have twice the risk for depression.

A new study has shown that treating depression improves insulin resistance in diabetics. It suggests that depression is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and treating depression may protect against developing the disease.

Video: What it’s like to live with depression

Ruby Wax is a comedian who also suffers from depression. In this very honest and moving video she shares what it’s like live with depression. She does mention medication right at the end, which of course may not suit everyone.

The depression diabetes study

Researchers studied 55 people at risk for type 2 diabetes who were enrolled in a diabetes prevention program. The participants had prediabetes and most were obese.

The researchers used a test for depression to find 1 in 3 study participants were clinically depressed. 1 in 5 were taking antidepressant drugs.

Depressed patients who were not being treated, had greater insulin resistance than those who were not depressed. Treatment for depression improved insulin sensitivity, with depressed patients on antidepressant therapy having similar insulin sensitivity to non depressed patients.

Researchers conclusions

Lead researcher Prof Wagner from the University of Connecticut Health Center said, “Insulin resistance is the hallmark of type 2 diabetes, and this study shows that treating depression is associated with improved insulin resistance.” The study was presented at a meeting of the American Diabetes Association in New Orleans.

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