Type 2 diabetes patients who suffer depression also have more significant mental decline than those without depression, a new study finds. Diabetes and depression are common among older people and up to 20 percent of adults with type 2 diabetes have major depression, according to background information in the study. In addition, both of these disorders appear to be associated with an increased risk of dementia.
Researchers led by Dr. Mark Sullivan of the University of Washington, Seattle, tracked outcomes for nearly 3,000 people who had type 2 diabetes and were at high risk for heart disease. The patients' thinking and memory (or "cognitive") abilities and levels of depression were assessed at the start of the study and the participants were followed for 40 months.
Patients with depression showed greater mental declines over the course of the study. The effect of depression on risk of mental decline was not affected by factors such as heart disease; age; treatments to control blood pressure, cholesterol or insulin levels; or intensive versus standard treatments to lower blood sugar, the investigators wrote.