Antidepressants' Link to New-Onset Diabetes

Published Online: Friday, December 14, 2012
Long-term use of antidepressants may increase the risk of diabetes in elderly patients, according to a study published online on November 23, 2012, by the Journal of Diabetes.

The study looked at data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey of elderly Medicare beneficiaries. Diabetes data were collected over a 3-year period. Researchers examined the association between antidepressant use, depression, and new-onset diabetes. The data were adjusted for demographic, socioeconomic, and lifestyle risk factors.

Participants who used antidepressants during the 3-year period were 50% more likely to have new-onset diabetes than patients who did not use antidepressants. Patients who were diagnosed with any depression were twice as likely to develop diabetes than those without depression. However, there was no significant correlation between antidepressant use and new onset diabetes in patients with diagnosed depression.

The researchers conclude that depression may independently increase the risk of diabetes. They also suggest that long-term use of antidepressants without a depression diagnosis increases the risk for diabetes. The researchers state that if the study results are repeated with additional research, they could impact clinical decisionmaking.

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