A new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism finds that antidepressants reduce deaths by more than a third in patients with diabetes and depression.
People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have depression than people without diabetes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half to three-quarters of people with diabetes and depression go undiagnosed, despite therapy and medicine being very effective.
"The incidence of major depressive disorder amongst individuals with diabetes is significantly greater than the general population," said the study's corresponding author, Vincent Chin-Hung Chen, Professor, of Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University in Puzi, Taiwan. "Diabetes and depression each independently contribute to increasing total mortality."
In this large population-based study, researchers used the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan to identify 53,412 patients diagnosed with diabetes and depression since 2000. The researchers followed this population until 2013 to see if antidepressants reduced the death rate. They found that antidepressants significantly reduced mortality by 35 percent.
"This data provides further rationale for the screening and treating of
depression in persons who have diabetes," Chen said.