Depression/Diabetes Combo May Raise Mortality Risk

Combined presence in older women tied to higher all-cause, cardiovascular disease mortality risk

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- The combined presence of depression and diabetes mellitus among older women appears to be associated with a particularly increased risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, according to a study in the January issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

In a prospective cohort study, An Pan, Ph.D., of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues evaluated 78,282 women, aged 54 to 79 years at baseline, who participated in the Nurses' Health Study in 2000 and were followed up until 2006. Their objective was to evaluate the individual and joint effects of diabetes and depression on all-cause and CVD mortality.

The investigators documented 4,654 deaths, including 979 deaths from CVD. Compared to individuals without depression or diabetes, the age-adjusted relative risks (RRs) for all-cause mortality were 1.76 for women with depression only, 1.71 for women with diabetes only, and 3.11 for women with both depression and diabetes. The corresponding RRs of CVD mortality were 1.81, 2.67, and 5.38, respectively. These associations were attenuated but still significant after multivariate adjustment for other demographic variables, with the highest RRs for all-cause and CVD mortality found in women with both diabetes and depression.

"The comorbidity of depression and diabetes is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of mortality, particularly death from CVD," the authors write.

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