The use of antidepressant medication is strongly associated with the risk of developing diabetes, according to findings published in the March issue of Diabetes Care. Dr. Richard R. Rubin, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues point out that among diabetics, the risk of depression is 50 to 100% greater than in the general population. In 3187 participants in the randomized Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study, Dr. Rubin's team sought to determine whether depression symptoms or antidepressant use were associated with progression to type 2 diabetes. The mean follow-up was 3.2 years. Compared with no use, continuous antidepressant use during the study was associated with diabetes risk. Intermittent antidepressant use during the study was associated with diabetes risk. "If antidepressants prove to be an independent diabetes risk factor, clinicians will need to consider this when prescribing depression treatment in patients at high risk for diabetes," Dr. Rubin said in an interview with Reuters Health. "One possibility is to consider psychological treatment to avoid potential iatrogenic effects of antidepressants (although limited resources may often make this unfeasible)," he explained. "In one study of depressed patients with diabetes who had high A1c levels, cognitive behavioral therapy counseling was associated with improved glycemic control; this suggests a potential benefit for patients at high risk for developing diabetes."
Courtesy of Reuters.
Bonnie - if long-term studies corroborate this initial discovery, it is another crushing blow for this widely used class of drugs.