Diabetes and depression more closely linked than thought

Researchers have long noticed a strong correlation between depression and type 2 diabetes, which has presented them with a classic chicken-and-egg scenario. Until recently, it has been difficult to determine which condition occurs first and causes the other, which makes it hard to address the root cause of either condition.

Now, a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has found that the answer to the question may be both. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health say that diabetes appears to be an independent risk factor for depression, while depression is an independent risk factor for diabetes.

Researchers administered questionnaires to more than 65,000 women who had no history of either diabetes or depression. They then tracked their medical records for a period of ten years.

The findings showed that women who developed depression were 17 percent more likely to also develop diabetes. Women who had diabetes were 29 percent more likely to become depressed.

Researchers said that the findings show a bidirectional relationship between the two conditions, and could help health professionals understand more about their patients’ risk of developing either condition.
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