Depression and diabetes appear to be associated with a significantly increased risk of death from heart disease and risk of death from all causes over a six-year period for women, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals
Depression affects close to 15 million U.S. adults each year and more than 23.5 million U.S. adults have diabetes, according to background information in the article. Symptoms of depression affect between one-fifth and one-fourth of patients with diabetes, nearly twice as many as individuals without diabetes. Diabetes and its complications are leading causes of death around the world.
An Pan, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues studied 78,282 women aged 54 to 79 in 2000 who were participating in the Nurses' Health Study. The women were classified as having depression if they reported being diagnosed with the condition, were treated with antidepressant medications or scored high on an index measuring depressive symptoms. Reports of type 2 diabetes were confirmed using a supplementary questionnaire.
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