August 29, 2006
Antidepressants may boost diabetes risk
People susceptible to the disease may benefit from extra monitoring
Antidepressants may double or triple the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in those already susceptible to the disease -- a finding that suggests these people may benefit from monitoring of blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adulthood and occurs when the body no longer makes enough of the hormone insulin or can't use it properly. The condition is often associated with obesity.
A team led by Richard Rubin, associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, studied whether depression or antidepressant use predicted progression to type 2 diabetes in a study called the Diabetes Prevention Program.
"We found depression symptoms were not a risk for developing type 2 diabetes but using antidepressants was," Rubin says. "If I were a practising physician and had patients at risk for diabetes or who had diabetes, I would want to be careful and monitor their (blood sugar) level to see if antidepressants were having an effect."