Depression can up the mortality risk for patients with diabetes. Arecent study set out to determine whether diabetic patients withminor or major depression have a higher death rate than diabeticpatients without depression. Researchers in Seattle,Wash, examined4154 patients with diabetes in a large health maintenance organization(HMO) and followed them for up to 3 years.
The patients were required to complete written questionnaires onsociodemographic characteristics, diabetes characteristics, and type,duration, and symptoms of depression. The researchers gathered HMO-automateddiagnostic, laboratory, and pharmacy data and WashingtonState mortality rates to evaluate diabetes complications and deaths.
The results of the study, reported in Diabetes Care (November2005), showed that during the 3-year follow-up period there were275 deaths among the 3303 patients without depression. Among the354 patients with minor depression, 48 died. Of the 497 patients withmajor depression, 59 died. The study found that minor depressionwas linked with a 1.67-fold increase in mortality, compared with thenondepressed group. Major depression was associated with a 2.30-fold increased risk, compared with the control group.