A Brazilian study finds that a variety of lifestyle interventions can improve depression among adults with type 2 diabetes.
Depression affects one in four individuals with type 2 diabetes, according to researchers at the School of Public Health, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In this new study, the scientists examined the role of lifestyle interventions on the symptoms of depression within type 2 diabetes.
Lead researcher Adriana Cezaretto, PhD and colleagues reviewed data from 19 studies published between 1990 and 2015. These studies examined adults at risk for or diagnosed with type 2 diabetes who completed validated depression assessments.
Participants received interventions for between two and 36 months; the median treatment time was six months. The use of antidepressants was assessed in four studies, while one study included women only. Generally, the studies focused on diet and/or physical activity interventions.
The researchers found that individual and group sessions had a beneficial effect on depression scores. However, internet and telephone sessions did not have as positive an effect.
Participants who received four sessions a month had the greatest improvements in depression scores, but interventions generally led to decreased depression scores regardless of intensity and duration of interventions.
“Negative consequences of depression in individuals at risk of or with T2DM are known to include poor dietary intake, low physical activity levels, increased mortality, and health care costs,” said the researchers.
“Consequently, it is essential that these vulnerable groups be screened regularly for depression. Once diagnosed, these individuals may benefit from treatment and management involving healthy lifestyles by an interdisciplinary team.
“These findings further validate previous studies that demonstrate providing increased attention to individuals with chronic diseases could result in a greater sense of care and in turn improvements in depression outcomes.”
The study team concluded that further studies are required to investigate if different strategies used in lifestyle interventions can improve or prevent depression in people at risk of or with type 2 diabetes.
The findings appear in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases.

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