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Use of antidepressants associated with increased diabetes risk


ALEXANDRIA, Va. The use of antidepressant medication is strongly associated with the risk of developing diabetes, according to a study in the March issue of Diabetes Care.

Richard Rubin, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues point out that among diabetics, the risk of depression is 50 to 100 percent greater than in the general population. Furthermore, depression in diabetic patients is associated with higher complication and mortality rates and higher health care costs.

Over 3,100 participants were used in the randomized Diabetes Prevention Program study, which Rubin’s team used to determine whether depression symptoms or antidepressant use were associated with progression to type 2 diabetes, and whether the associations varied depending on the treatment arm: standard lifestyle recommendations plus 850 mg metformin twice daily (MET arm), standard lifestyle recommendations plus placebo (PLB arm), or an intensive lifestyle modification program (ILS arm).

At baseline, 10.3 percent of subjects had Beck Depression Inventory scores indicating at least mild depression (11 or higher), and 5.7 percent were taking antidepressants. Intermittent antidepressant use was reported for 7.2 percent during the study, and continuous antidepressant use was reported for 3.2 percent.

“Baseline antidepressant use, on the other hand, was strongly associated with diabetes risk” in both the PLB and ILS arms according to the report.

Compared with no use, continuous antidepressant use during the study was also associated with diabetes risk in the PLB and ILS arms. Intermittent antidepressant use during the study was associated with diabetes risk in the ILS arm. No association was found between antidepressant use and development of diabetes among participants in the MET arm.

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