Depression Drugs May Help Control Diabetes

People who suffer from both diabetes and depression may be able to manage the former better if they take medication for the latter. That's the conclusion of a new study from the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.

The research found that people with diabetes who get depressed are much more likely to keep their blood sugar levels under control if they take antidepressants.

The researchers reviewed medical records for about 1,400 diabetes patients, including lab tests for blood sugar and prescription data on antidepressant use, from the years 2008 to 2013. On average, the patients were around 62 years old, and most were obese. All of them had type 2 diabetes, which happens when the body can't properly use or make enough insulin to convert blood sugar into energy.

Most of those whose records were analyzed (1,134) didn’t suffer from depression. But the study included 225 people being treated for depression and 40 individuals who were diagnosed with depression, but were not taking medication for it.

More than half of the people who were treating their depression had their blood sugar under control, compared to only 35 percent of those who were not taking antidepressants.

The researchers acknowledged that they couldn't determine whether treating depression led to better blood sugar control or whether lowering blood sugar eases depression symptoms. Both scenarios are possible.

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Sourced from: Reuters Health, Taking drugs for depression linked to better diabetes control