How Depression and Anxiety Can Harm Diabetes Patients

Health Writer
Medically Reviewed

Depression and anxiety are more common in people with type 2 diabetes than in the general population. They tend to coexist, with nearly two-thirds of people with major depression also having an anxiety disorder.

And for people with type 2 diabetes, this depression and anxiety is more likely to be chronic or to recur frequently. Plus it's associated with worse outcomes, such as lower quality of life, chronic complications, and higher mortality.

A study published in Depression and Anxiety looked at 1,337 people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers used several assessment scales to determine which participants had anxiety and depression. One-third had “anxious depression,” while 12 percent had major depression without anxiety, and 5 percent had generalized anxiety disorder.

The study, which was published online in May of 2016, found that both major and minor cases of anxious depression, or major depression alone, predicted coronary heart disease. Major anxious depression strongly predicted death from cardiovascular disease, but generalized anxiety disorder alone had an even stronger effect on death from heart disease.

The authors considered whether the known association between anxiety and high blood glucose in diabetes could explain the connection to cardiovascular disease.

The bottom line: If you have diabetes and anxiety or depression, talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you.

See more helpful articles:

7 Ways Diabetes Affects the Body

8 Ways to Live Longer and Better With Diabetes