From the Journals

Comorbid depression, anxiety linked to doubled risk of diabetes



Comorbid symptoms of anxiety and depression are associated with twice the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a research paper published in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

The researchers sampled 78,025 Dutch adults aged 30-75 years from the Lifelines Cohort Study and assessed them for depressive and anxious symptoms using the Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview before sorting them into groups based on whether they had both, depressive symptoms alone, anxious symptoms alone, or neither.

Compared with participants with no symptoms, those with depressive and anxious symptoms had an unadjusted odds ratio of 2.05 (95% confidence interval, 1.40-3.00) of developing type 2 diabetes, reported Sonya S. Deschênes, PhD, of the department of psychiatry at McGill University, Montreal, and her associates. Furthermore, in an analysis that adjusted for sociodemographic and lifestyle factors and a family history of diabetes, Dr. Deschênes and her associates found that the participants with both kinds of symptoms had an OR of 1.93 (95% CI, 1.21-3.07) of developing type 2 diabetes. Those with only depressive or anxious symptoms alone did not have a statistically significant risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A limitation cited by the researchers is that a screening tool was used to assess depressive and anxiety symptoms. Also, glycosylated hemoglobin data were available only for a subset of the participants.

Nevertheless, Dr. Deschênes and her associates wrote, the “study extends ... prior findings and suggests that having co-occurring symptoms of [depression] and anxiety is most strongly associated with an increased risk of [type 2 diabetes]. This study also provides further support for the notion that depression with comorbid anxiety symptoms might represent a group with distinct features.”

SOURCE: Deschênes SS et al. J Affect Disorder. 2018 Oct 1. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2018.05.029.

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