Antidepressant medications linked to type 2 diabetes mellitus

Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By David Liu, PHD

Thursday Sept 27, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- A new study in Diabetologia suggests that using antidepressants may increase risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Frank. B. Hu of Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues conducted the meta-analysis and found using antidepressant medications was associated with 68 percent increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus after adjustment for age.

Previous studies have associated with use of antidepressants with incident type 2 diabetes mellitus.  The current study was based on three cohorts of U.S. adults, 29,776 participating in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), 61,791 women in the Nurses' Health Study I (NHS I) and 76,868 women in the Nurses's Health Study II (NHS II).

At baseline, all participants were free of type 2 diabetes meliitus, cardiovascular disease or cancer.  The mean baseline ages for three cohorts, HPFS, NHS I and II wee 56.4, 61.3 and 38.1 years respectively.  Participants were surveyed at baseline and every two years for their use of antidepressant medications.

The researchers found during 1,644,679 person-years of follow-up, 6,641 cases of type 2 diabetes mellitus were identified.  Those who used antidepressants were at 68 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes.   The risk increased by 30 percent among users of antidepressant medications after adjustment for other diabetes risk factors and history of high cholesterol and hypertension.  After adjustment for body mass index, then the risk increased 17 percent.

Specifically, using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants were correlated with 10 and 26 percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus, respectively.

The researchers concluded " The results suggest that ADM (antidepressant medications) users had a moderately elevated risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with non-users, even after adjustment for BMI (body mas index).

Antidepressant side effects are common including nausea, dry mouth, headache, constipation, drowsiness, dizziness, anxiety, weight gain, and agitation among other things.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is estimated to affect 26 million Americans.  There is no cure for the disease, but the disease can be managed by taking prescription medications and long term dietary intervention.  Alternatively, as research suggests, some non-conventional remedies such as curcumin and cinnamon supplements can  help treat or prevent the disease.

(Send your news to foodconsumer.org@gmail.com, Foodconsumer.org is part of the Infoplus.com ™ news and information network)