The findings of a new study suggest that people with diabetes and depression who take antidepressants might face a lower risk of serious diabetes complications and death.
The findings were published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
People with diabetes face a higher risk of depression, which makes them more likely to die or develop diabetes complications including heart and kidney disease, stroke, eye, and foot problems. Depression makes diabetes complications worse due to stress, body weight changes, and lack of exercise.
“People with depression and diabetes have poorer health outcomes than those with diabetes alone, and regular antidepressant treatment could lower their risk of complications,” said study author Shi-Heng Wang, Ph.D., of the China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan.
“People who adhere to their antidepressants have better diabetes outcomes and quality of life than those with poor adherence,” said study author Chi-Shin Wu, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan.
The researchers conducted a nationwide retrospective cohort study of 36,276 patients with depression and diabetes to determine if antidepressants could improve diabetes outcomes. They found the regular antidepressant treatment was associated with a lower risk of death and heart disease.
Other authors of the study include Le-Yin Hsu of the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan; and Yi-Jiun Pan of the China Medical University in Taichung, Taiwan.
The manuscript received funding from the Ministry of Science and Technology, the China Medical University, and the Ministry of Health and Welfare.