Antidepressants reduce deaths by more than a third in patients with diabetes and depression, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The effect of antidepressants (ATDs) use on mortality in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) has not yet been sufficiently studied although co-morbid depression is common in this population.

Antidepressants on mortality

Different kinds of diabetes can occur, and managing the condition depends on the type. Not all forms of diabetes stem from a person; who being overweight or leading an inactive lifestyle. In fact, some are present from childhood. People with diabetes are two to three times more likely to have depression than people without diabetes; so according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Half to three quarters of people with diabetes; also depression go undiagnose, despite therapy and medicine being very effective.

With the prevalence of depression among diabetics 2 to 3 times greater; so than non-diabetic patients, investigators sought to determine; so the effect of antidepressants on mortality in these patients.  Investigators used 4 comorbid chronic diseases as confounding variables. Urbanization and financial status were divide into 4 levels and risk of mortality was evaluated but comparing the highest dose group to the lowest dose group.

When comparing the group using antidepressants compared to the non-antidepressant use group, investigators noted more male and elderly individuals were in the non-antidepressant use group. The antidepressant use group had a younger age distribution, higher degree of urbanization, better socioeconomic state this may be due to their greater accessibility to psychotropic medication.

Rate of heart failure

Investigators note that the rate of heart failure among the non antidepressant group; so the rate of heart failure was higher but no significant differences; hence were detect between groups in regard to the other 3 comorbid chronic diseases. Additionally, the non-antidepressant use group also had higher severity of diabetes mellitus complications.

“The incidence of major depressive disorder amongst individuals with diabetes is significantly greater than the general population,” said the study’s corresponding author, Vincent Chin-Hung Chen, Professor, of Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University in Puzi, Taiwan. “Diabetes and depression each independently contribute to increasing total mortality.”

In this large population base study, researchers use the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan to identify 53,412 patients diagnose with diabetes and depression since 2000. The researchers follow this population until 2013 to see if antidepressants reduce the death rate. They found that antidepressants significantly reduce mortality by 35 percent. This data provides further rationale for the screening and treating of depression in persons who have diabetes,” Chen said.