The latest on managing care, value-based care, insurance markets, payers & providers

Depression, Diabetes Linked to Dementia

Treating patients who have diabetes and depression for both conditions can reduce the incidences of dementia in this comorbid population, according to a study by the University of Washington and Kaiser Permanente.

In fact, researchers say that for patients with type 2 diabetes, “comorbid depression was associated with an approximately two-fold increased risk of dementia compared to patients with diabetes alone,” according to “Diabetes & Aging,” a study funded by the National Institutes of Health that was released in December.

“Since depression affects up to 20 percent of diabetic patients, it is critical to understand this relationship and further evaluate whether depression interventions have an impact on dementia in patients with diabetes,” says Andrew J. Karter, PhD, of the Kaiser Division of Research. He is one of the authors.

Those interventions could include use of antidepressants. “Among patients with diabetes, depression is associated with poorer adherence to diet and exercise programs, increased smoking and poorer blood sugar control and psychobiologic changes such as increases in cortisol and increased sympathetic nervous system tone, which could worsen the course of diabetes and increase the risk of dementia associated with depression,” the authors say.

The data were collected by studying about 20,000 Kaiser Permanente members. The baseline survey was done in 2005 and 2006. “Diabetes & Aging” is a three- to five-year follow-up from that baseline.

Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Monthly table of contents

Be notified as each issue of Managed Care is available online.

Biweekly newsletter

Recent topics have included:

  • Doug Jones and the ACA, Epic misses a White House meeting, and man caves for man-flu sufferers
  • CVS-Aetna deal may trigger merger mania, Johns Hopkins criticized for lack of asthma prevention, & Columbia sees free-ride future for all of its med students

PTCommunity news

New drug approvals, clinical trials, drug management. Three times per week.