New research carried out at the University of Washington and Group Health Research Institute has surprisingly revealed that patients with both diabetes and depression had similar levels of glycemia, blood pressure and lipid control as compared with diabetes sufferers without depression. It has been assumed that depression was a factor for those with diabetes taking less medication and not maintaining checks on their blood glucose levels, or monitoring their blood pressure, exercising properly and eating the right foods.
It is known that those with diabetes who also suffer from depression tend to have cardiovascular problems and a greater risk of death than counterparts who do not have to deal with depression. But Dr. Susan Heckbert, UW professor of epidemiology, affiliate investigator at Group Health Research Institute and lead author of the study results, said that “We were expecting that depression might well be associated with patients having difficulty with taking medications consistently, exercising, and eating right, and that this might affect risk factor control.
Patients tell us that when they are depressed, they sometimes have more difficulty maintaining consistent diabetes self-care.”
The results, which were published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, point to more research being needed to fully understand why depression in patients with diabetes is associated with less favourable cardiovascular outcomes and increased death rates.

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