Treating multiple conditions including type 2 diabetes collectively may lead to better results

Individuals with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to develop depression, which can become extremely difficult to treat. However, a new study has found that a coordinated team-based approach to treating the conditions may yield much better results than traditional approaches.

Researchers from the University of Washington followed a group of 214 individuals with both diabetes and depression. Half of the participants were assigned to receive standard care for the two conditions, while the remaining participants were given a coordinated approach to their conditions.

Individuals in this group were assigned a nurse who talked to their primary care physicians and mental health specialists. In this way, they were able to receive care that treated their diabetes and depression as different parts of a single, larger problem.

After a one year period, the researchers found that participants in this group showed significant improvement in depressive symptoms, blood sugar control, cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

"Depressed patients with multiple uncontrolled chronic diseases are at high risk of heart attack, stroke and other complications," Dr. Wayne J. Katon, who led the study. "We are excited about finding a new way to help patients control these chronic diseases, including depression."
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