New diabetes and depression study

Mon, 06 Feb 2006
Depression can affect anyone, particularly when other factors such as lifestyle or a condition are involved. It is thought depression is almost twice as common in the diabetic population compared to the general population. Furthermore, diabetics who have depression are twice as likely to die from blood sugar related illness than diabetic patients who are not depressed. However, a new study has shown that diabetics who undergo treatment for their depression do not actually manage their disease any better.

The study was carried out at the University of Washington in Seattle, and appears in the journal ‘The Annals of Family Medicine.’ An expert who co-authored the study believes that even when depression is treated, lifelong habits will not change. However, the importance of bringing depression under control is certain. It is hoped that specific behavioural therapy that helps to encourage patients with diabetes could be effective.

This therapy would aim to encourage the patient to make their treatment regimen more accurate, and also to be aware of necessary diet and exercise adjustments. Standard treatments for depression include psychotherapy and programs of antidepressants. The study followed over 300 diabetes patients who were also suffering from depression over a 12 month period. The study also highlighted the relationship between diabetes and depression, and the fact that the two conditions can easily become mutually reinforcing.
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