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Depression link to diabetes

Men with Type 2 diabetes are almost twice as likely to have depression as men without the condition, according to research published in the journal 'Diabetic Medicine'.

For women with diabetes, the increased risk is 30 per cent.

The research, based on 10 studies published between 1980 and 2005 of over 51,000 people, confirmed that among the diabetic population, depression is higher in women than men. Almost one in four (23.8 per cent) women have depression compared to one in eight (12.8 per cent) men.

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Saima Ali, one of the researchers at the Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester, said: “Living with diabetes can have an enormous impact on a person’s life so it’s not surprising that it could lead to depression.

"The relationship could be further complicated as some studies now suggest that depression may occur first and lead to diabetes. But further research is needed to support this and help identify those at risk in order to develop effective treatments.”

Simon O'Neill, Director of Care and Policy at Diabetes UK, said, "People with diabetes who are depressed may also have difficulties controlling their blood glucose levels, which leaves them at increased risk of long term complications such as heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputations.

"The current provision of psychological intervention for people with diabetes is shockingly inadequate. This research shows that more resources are needed to provide psychological and emotional support for people with diabetes if they wish.”

A new Diabetes UK leaflet ‘How are you feeling? Coping with diabetes and depression’ is now available and provides information and guidance on living with the two conditions. For copies, please call 0800 585 088 and ask for code 9110.

The leaflet is kindly supported by Lilly.

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