A new study links depression with an increased risk for diabetes in older adults, even those who have no other risk factors for the disease.
The study found that even a single report of high depressive symptoms was associated with an increase in the incidence of diabetes. In fact, adjusting for race, ex, smoking status, alcohol intake and body mass index (BMI) made no difference in the result.
According to Mercedes R Carnethon, the lead author and an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University, there is no evidence one way or the other on whether treating depression could reduce the risk for diabetes.
“People in our study who were on anti-depressants did not have an elevated risk for diabetes,” Carnethon said.
“But we don’t know if that’s because of the anti-depressants or for some other reason,” she added.
Many previous studies have shown that depression is associated with dysfunction in that system, which has also been detected before the development of diabetes.
Still, Dr. Carnethon said that depression “is a novel risk factor for diabetes, so we need to look at factors beyond physical inactivity and diet for an explanation.”