Diabetes and depression are a two-way street, study says

Depression and type 2 diabetes are closely related, doubling difficulties for people coping with both conditions. It makes intuitive sense that someone diagnosed with a serious illness such as type 2 diabetes might feel depressed about it. In the same way, it’s easy to imagine that people who are depressed might be less active and gain more weight, which are two risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Researchers from Harvard who followed a large group of women before they developed either illness found that a woman who had one was more at risk for the other.

An Pan of the Harvard School of Public Health led a group that observed more than 65,000 women over age 50 who were enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study. Starting in 1996, the participants answered questionnaires asking, among other things, if they had depression or diabetes.

After 10 years, they found that women with depression were about 17 percent more likely to develop diabetes, even after the researchers accounted for the women’s physical activity and body mass index. Women who were taking antidepressants had a 25 percent higher risk of developing diabetes compared with women who did not have depression.

Read the full article at Boston.com.

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