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Patients who suffer from both diabetes and depression have a higher risk of dying

An estimated 10 to 30 percent of people with diabetes also suffer from depression, and they have a higher risk of dying from all causes compared to patients with either condition alone, concludes a new study supported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HS11418). More vigilance in recognizing and treating depression among patients with diabetes may improve their outcomes, suggest Leonard E. Egede, M.D., M.S., of the Medical University of South Carolina, and colleagues.

Researchers analyzed mortality rates for coronary heart disease (CHD) and all causes for 10,025 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey I (1971-1975), then were interviewed in 1982 and followed until 1992. During 8 years of followup, nearly one-fifth of the group (1,925) died, with nearly one-fourth of deaths (522) due to CHD. Compared to patients without diabetes or depression, patients with depression only had a 29 percent and 20 percent higher risk of dying from CHD and all causes, respectively. Patients with diabetes had twice the risk of dying from CHD and all causes. Finally, patients who suffered from both depression and diabetes had more than twice the risk of dying from all causes and CHD.

More details are in "Depression and all-cause and coronary heart disease mortality among adults with and without diabetes," by Dr. Egede, Paul J. Nietert, Ph.D., and Deyi Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., in the June 2005 Diabetes Care 28(6), pp. 1339-1345.

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