(NaturalNews) People who are depressed or more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, while those who are diabetic are more likely to become depressed, according to a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Researchers examined 5,201 people between the ages of 45 and 84 three times over the course of three years, questioning them about various lifestyle factors and evaluating them for depression and diabetes. They found that participants who were most depressed were 42 percent more likely to develop diabetes than the participants who were least depressed. Part of the reason for this might be that those who are depressed are more likely to become obese, a significant risk factor for diabetes.
"Depressive symptoms are associated with several metabolic and behavioral risk factors for Type 2 diabetes," the researchers wrote. "Depressed individuals are less likely to comply with dietary and weight loss recommendations and more likely to be physically inactive."
When the researchers adjusted for the contribution of various lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, they found that those who were depressed still had a 34 percent higher risk of developing diabetes. This finding was not statistically significant, however.
In another analysis of 4,847 people, the researchers found that patients who had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes were 52 percent more likely to become depressed than those without diabetes or those with undiagnosed diabetes. These findings suggest that the diagnosis itself can somehow contribute to depression.
According to lead researcher Sherita Hill Golden, the study emphasizes the complex relationship between depression and diabetes.
"It's important that doctors be attuned to look for both conditions in patients at risk for either diabetes or depression," Golden said. "We may want to develop interventions for both treatments, instead of just one or the other."