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Depression triggers diabetes, not other away around, scientists say

Depression triggers diabetes, not other away around, scientists say CBC.CA News – Full Story :
Jun 5 2006 09:00 AM CDT
A researcher at the University of Alberta studying Saskatchewan health data has discovered a link between depression and diabetes.
Dr. Jeffrey Johnson works with diabetics, people whose bodies don’t produce enough insulin, and over the years he noticed many of them suffer from depression.

He set out to determine whether diabetes causes depression or whether depression causes diabetes.

What he discovered by looking at more than 32,000 case studies of Saskatchewan patients was that depression was the key and it can actually trigger diabetes in younger adults.

Johnson said he and his fellow researchers are not sure why, but they think it might have something to do with lifestyle or the condition itself.

His findings were recently published in the medical journal Diabetes Care. The study found that people with newly diagnosed diabetes were 30 per cent more likely to have had a previous history of depression compared with people without diabetes.

* DIABETES CARE: Saskatchewan study on diabetes and depression External site

“Being less physically active, having poor diets, weight gain then all that predisposes to the development of diabetes,” he said.

“Another risk is that the medications that are used to treat depression may put people at risk of developing diabetes. And a third one is just ….”

Depression in older adults doesn’t appear to have the same effect, Johnson said. The prevalence of depression in diabetes patients is still quite small — less than five per cent have a history, according the Johnson’s study.

The next step is to use the study results to help people with depression from developing diabetes. According to Johnson, once scientists understand the triggers, they can develop intervention programs.

Copyright © 2006 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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