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Could Antidepressants Improve Outcomes for Sufferers of Diabetes and Depression?

SUFFERERS of diabetes are also faced with a higher susceptibility to depression, which increases their risk of experiencing disease complications. Interesting evidence has recently emerged suggesting that adherence to prescribed antidepressant medication in sufferers of diabetes and depression may improve the outcomes of their disease, subsequently lowering their risk of death.

The development of depression in sufferers of diabetes increases their risk of experiencing complications including heart disease, stroke, and eye and foot problems. These, in turn, are then made worse due to the stress caused by depression, a lack of exercise, and fluctuations in body weight.

Study author Shi-Heng Wang from the China Medical University (CMU), Taichung, Taiwan, explained: “People with depression and diabetes have poorer health outcomes than those with diabetes alone, and regular antidepressant treatment could lower their risk of complications.” Scientists from both the CMU and the National Taiwan University (NTU), Taipei, Taiwan, carried out a retrospective nationwide study, which included 36,276 patients suffering from depression and diabetes to assess the impact of regular antidepressant treatment on their risk of heart disease and death.

“People who adhere to their antidepressants have better diabetes outcomes and quality of life than those with poor adherence.” revealed study author Chi-Shin Wu, of the NTU Hospital. Researchers concluded that the use of regular antidepressants was associated with a decreased risk of both death and heart disease.