A novel study from researchers in Montreal, Canada demonstrates that depression adds significantly to the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in people already at risk of diabetes.
The study involved over 2,500 participants from Quebec, aged between 40 and 69 years old over a review period of four-and-a-half years.
The participants were divided into four groups depending on whether they had depression, metabolic dysregulatio, neither of these conditions or both. People with metabolic dysregulation are at a high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Signs of metabolic dysregulation include high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HDL cholesterol, abdominal obesity and impaired glucose regulation.
The result showed the following adjusted risks of developing type 2 diabetes:
People with neither depression nor metabolic dysregulation – control group
People with depression but not metabolic dysregulation – 1.28 times risk
People with metabolic dysregulation but not depression – 4.40 times risk
People with depression and metabolic dysregulation – 6.61 times risk
Depression may interact with existing risk for type 2 diabetes in a multitude of ways, the researchers believe. The ways in which depression can affect metabolism include the effects of stress and effects relating to disturbed sleep and eating patterns. Additionally, some antidepressants can increase the risk of weight gain.
The researchers conclude that the study indicates that depression may a potentially important risk factor for type 2 diabetes. Adding that early identification of both depression and metabolic syndrome could help with preventing type 2 diabetes incidence.
The study is published in the Molecular Psychiatry journal.