Women, Depression, and Diabetes

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Dr. Sanje Gupta reported this week on results of a large-scale study among women that examined what happens when depression and Type II diabetes co-occur:

“Researchers who published the data in the Archives of General Psychiatry looked at more than 78,000 women between the ages of 54 and 79 who were participating in the famous Nurse’s Health Study.

“The women were labeled as being depressed if they reported getting a diagnosis and treatment for the condition or scored high on a test that measured symptoms of depression. Reports of type 2 diabetes were noted in questionnaire, filled out by participants

“Researchers then followed up on these subjects six years later and found 4,654 of the women had died, including 979 who died from cardiovascular disease. Investigators discovered that women with depression had a 44% increased risk of death compared with women who did not have diagnosed depression. When it came to diabetes, those who had the condition had a 35% increased risk of death over those who did not have the illness. And women with both conditions had approximately twice the risk of death of those who had neither condition.”

Depression can be linked with poor glycemic control, and both conditions may accompany social isolation, sedentary lifestyles, and being overweight and obese.

Recently the death of baseball star Ron Santo gave evidence that the presence of Type I Childhood Diabetes need not keep one from living a full and joyful life. Santo, who died over a month ago from prostate cancer, was for the past three decades of his life and advocate for raising funds for The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

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