Diabetes is one of the top reasons for death today around the world. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, it takes seventh place. The number of its cases also keeping rising. This is why it is a big concern for health professionals.
In fact, around thirty percent of the people in the United States alone suffer from diabetes. The American Diabetes Association also warns about how there is a massive increase in its diagnosis in the country. At the same time, around seventeen million people also have symptoms of depression. A number of studies link both of these conditions. Some also conclude that one of these health issues may lead to the development of the other.
Precisely, the risk of depression is three times higher when a person has diabetes. However, only twenty to fifty percent of the people having both problems get proper therapy or treatment.
Currently, there is an increase in research in both of the issues. Recent studies show that treating one condition can aid the other and possibly reduces the risk of death.
Similarly, new research also looks at how depression and its medication may help diabetes patients. In consonance with the authors, there is a gap in research on reducing mortality rates in diabetic people.
Therefore, they aim to look at how antidepressants can cut down mortality risks. The findings of their paper are in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.
Read the study here.
What Was the Research Methodology?
According to the researchers, depression is a major factor in diabetes. This is because every time a patient gets a depressive episode, the risk of mortality also seems to increase.
In order to know more, the team of researchers took data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. This data contained information on 53,412 people who were seen to have both diabetes and depression.
Then, the researchers made divisions of these participants based on their dosage of the given antidepressant. Consequently, there were high, medium, and low groups.
After observing these groups, the finding was that the mortality rate has a strong link with the dose of medicine. As the dose decreases, the risk of death increases.
More specifically, there was a thirty-five percent decrease in mortality risk on a high dose of antidepressants. On the other hand, low doses led to a higher mortality rate.
In addition, the researchers also mentioned other factors that played a role. These were belonging to the lower or working class, severe depression, and being male.
When comparing the different groups, the researchers also went into further details. Using the method of hazard ratios, the team analyzed more on particular drugs.
For instance, one observation was that a higher dose of norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors cut down the risk of death by eighty percent.
Similarly, the norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors caused a forty-two percent decrease, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors thirty-seven percent, and trazodone by forty-eight percent.
It is unclear on what is the main reason for this effect of antidepressants. One theory by the authors is that this is because these medicines cut down inflammation in the body.
Additionally, antidepressants also have a link with a reduction in blood clotting. Blood clotting is the cause of death in many of the people with diabetes.
However, this research also has limitations such as the lack of study on the exact causes of death in the patients. Further research on the subject may provide information on the unanswered questions.