Depression Raises Risk of Diabetes


By: Linda von Wartburg

Researchers reporting in the Archives of Internal Medicine havefound that depression is associated with an increased risk of type 2diabetes in people over 65 years of age.

Data was gathered on almost 4,700 people who were not diabetic atthe outset of the study in 1989. Over ten years, during which 234of them developed diabetes, they were evaluated for symptoms ofdepression. After correcting for other factors, diabetes was about60 percent more likely among those who had higher levels ofdepressive symptoms.

The cause of the association was not clarified, but lead researcherMercedes Carnethon of Northwestern University hypothesized thatdepressed people are less likely to care for their health ingeneral.

Biological factors such a high level of the stress hormonecortisol could contribute as well, because high cortisol levels maycut insulin sensitivity and cause increased fat deposits around thewaist.

Sources: Archives of Internal Medicine



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