Type 2 diabetes often precedes mood disorders

Type 2 diabetes and mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are known to co-occur at high rates. However, doctors have been unsure whether one condition causes the other or if a single underlying factor is responsible for both ailments.

In order to get to the bottom of this phenomenon, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego reviewed the medical records of a group of 129 Hispanic individuals who had been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Los Angeles Times. The findings of their study were presented at the American Psychiatric Association's annual meeting.

Latinos are known to have higher rates of type 2 diabetes than the general population. Additionally, co-occurring mood disorders are common among these individuals. This made this group of patients an ideal population for studying the relationship between mood disorders and type 2 diabetes.

The results of the study showed that diabetes was diagnosed first in 54 percent of men with both conditions, while depression was the initial diagnosis of 24 percent of men. Of women with both conditions, 59 percent were first discovered to have diabetes, while 29 percent were first diagnosed with depression.

The researchers told the news source that it is unclear why there is this association between the two conditions, but said that their findings show that there is a strong need to monitor individuals with type 2 diabetes for future mental health issues, as the metabolic condition appears to precede mood disorders.

This recommendation echoes advice from the American Diabetes Association, which says that individuals with type 2 diabetes should consider seeking mental health help if they begin to feel three or more common symptoms of depression, which may include loss of pleasure, loss of appetite, sadness, trouble concentrating and suicidal thoughts.