The usage of antidepressants can reduce the risk of mortality in diabetes patients, according to a study. The research suggested that diabetes patients are at high risk of developing depression and proper treatment can prevent early deaths in them.

The study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism tried to find a link between antidepressants and mortality rate in people with both diabetes and depression. According to the researchers, the chances for diabetes patients to develop depression are two to three times higher as compared with those who don’t have this illness.

The scientists further said diabetes and depression are the two main causes of early deaths, especially when they occur together. However, many of those individuals with both the conditions do not receive proper treatment. Only 25 to 50 percent people with these two conditions receive treatment for both.

“The reduction of mortality in individuals with [diabetes] remains a critically important and unmet need," explained Dr. Vincent Chin-Hung Chen, a researcher of Chiayi Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University in Puzi, Taiwan.

Diabetes is the seventh major cause of death across the globe. The American Diabetes Association reported that more than 30 million people in the United States suffered from diabetes in 2015. That means over 9 percent of the country’s total population developed this illness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classified depression as the major cause for disability worldwide. In the U.S., nearly 17.3 million adults experienced “at least one major depressive episode” in 2017, according to a report by National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).

In the study titled "Antidepressants reduced risk of mortality in patients with diabetes mellitus: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan," the researcher tried to find out the impact of antidepressants on people with both diabetes and depression.

“The incidence of major depressive disorder [among] individuals with diabetes is significantly greater than the general population. Diabetes and depression each independently contribute to increasing total mortality," Chen said.

For the study, the researchers analyzed the data of more than 53,000 people that they collected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The participants in the study received a diagnosis for diabetes, which was followed by depression.

Depressive patients in the study had at least one diagnosis from a psychiatrist and those who had a psychiatric admission or three outpatient psychiatric visits.

The scientists divided the participants into three groups depending on the amount of antidepressants they took. After analyzing the data, the researchers found that those who took high dose of antidepressants on a daily basis had a reduced risk of mortality.

Though the study provides an insight on the importance of treating depression in diabetes patients, the scientists revealed that the research has its own limitations. Lead researcher Dr. Chen said the study may not be relevant for people outside Taiwan as it focussed on only Taiwanese individuals.

Antidepressants Can Reduce Risk Of Mortality In Diabetes Patients. Pixabay/qimono