Diabetes and depression study

Tue, 14 Feb 2006
Researchers with the University of Washington believe that those older people who are suffering from both diabetes and depression may be helped by intervention. Psychosocial intervention (carried out by a depression care manager) was found to decrease the amount of depressed days, increase health and reduce medical care costs.

The problem is not a small one, with depression affecting many diabetics. It is estimated that between 10 and 15 per cent of patients with diabetes are also suffering from major depression. The impact of depression on the management of diabetes is major, and depressed diabetics are also more likely to be prone to complications.

Depression is expected to hinder self-care, which is essential in the management of diabetes. Adjusting diet, taking appropriate physical activity, closely monitoring blood glucose, adhering to an insulin regime, and remembering to take any other medication may well all be affected by depression. Similarly, those patients suffering from both conditions generally incur higher medical costs .

The Washington study examined just over 400 diabetics with depression, with the average age of around 70. The study gave the patients care on a daily basis. One author of the study was reported as saying: "While psychotherapy won't necessarily take away depression completely in every person, it can certainly have a positive, life-changing impact for those who are willing to give it a try."
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