Major depression treatment in diabetes may reduce risk of death in older adults

By: Devon Andre | Diabetes | Wednesday, April 13, 2016 - 12:00 PM

Major depression treatment in diabetesMajor depression treatment in diabetes may reduce risk of death in older adults. The findings, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, found that not only does treating depression help improve overall health, but it can help prevent death in seniors with diabetes.

The researchers assessed depression care management and found that in older adults with diabetes those who received structured depression care management had a 53 percent smaller risk of death over the course of the study, compared to those who received traditional care. Furthermore, the researchers also found that structured depression care could help reduce the risk of death by other chronic conditions – except heart disease – but not nearly as much as seen in diabetes.

Depression is known to have numerous negative effects on overall health, including making it more difficult for patients to follow a treatment regime and partake in self-care. Although health complications associated with depression are well known, the positive effects of depression treatment have not been clear until recently.

The researchers evaluated 1,226 older adults diagnosed with major depression, minor depression, or no depression. The participants completed questionnaires on their state of health, including the diagnosis of any chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Not only did structured depression care help reduce mortality, but it also improved depression more than traditional care. Forty percent of participants experienced complete relief from their depression after four months of structured treatment, compared to only 22.5 percent of older adults who received traditional care.

Depression and diabetes treatment options for older adults

Living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes increases your risk of depression – that’s a well-known fact. But, unfortunately, the exact mechanisms behind this link are not fully understood. Furthermore, if you have depression you also have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and this may be explained by the lack of personal care, which can accompany depression.

Some theories surrounding the link between depression and diabetes include:

  • Managing diabetes can be stressful and result in depression symptoms.
  • Diabetes can result in health complications that can worsen symptoms of depression.
  • Depression can lead to poor lifestyle choices and lack of personal care.
  • Depression can interfere with a person’s ability to manage diabetes.

If you have depression and diabetes together, there are ways in which they can both be well managed at the same time.

Some helpful tips to manage both diabetes and depression include:

  • Take part in diabetes self-management programs, which focus on behavior and improving physical fitness.
  • Psychotherapy can aid in depression management, which in turn can improve diabetes care.
  • Medications can be taken for both diabetes and depression, easing the symptoms and thus allowing you to partake in necessary lifestyle changes.
  • Collaborative care, which is a treatment supervised by a nurse.

If you have diabetes and begin to experience symptoms such as loss of interest in favorite activities, back pain, headaches, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness, seek medical advice right away. The earlier on the depression is caught the earlier the treatment can start, which can improve health outcomes.


Related Reading:

Heart patients fare much worse with depression

Heart patients who develop depression after their diagnosis have worse outcomes and higher risks of heart attack and mortality, compared to those without depression. The study included nearly 23,000 heart patients in Ontario, Canada all diagnosed with heart disease. Continue reading…

Depression symptoms linked with an increased risk of arthritis and arthrosis

When it comes to depression, there are many different kinds. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, occurs mainly through the winter months. Postpartum depression affects new mothers, and major depressive disorder is depression lasting more than two weeks, where a person feels hopeless, sad, has lack of interest in life, and where it impacts mental and physical health. Continue reading…


Sources:
http://www.healthinaging.org/news/research-summaries/article:01-27-2016-10-00am-treating-major-depression-in-older-adults-with-diabetes-may-lower-risk-of-death/
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.13711/abstract
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/expert-answers/diabetes-and-depression/faq-20057904


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