Diabetes Self-Management Blog

The link between diabetes and depression is well established: Studies show that people with diabetes are three to four times as likely to have major depression as people without diabetes, and depression appears to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes in certain populations. Depression is also known to increase the risk of complications in people with Type 2 diabetes. Now, new research indicates that treating people for both depression and diabetes simultaneously can significantly improve both conditions.

Depression may affect a person’s ability to carry out diabetes self-management tasks, such as taking medicines and monitoring blood glucose. And the stress of managing diabetes can contribute to an increased risk of depression. (There may be other biological factors, such as inflammation, contributing to the association as well.)

To see whether an integrated treatment approach to Type 2 diabetes and depression could improve people’s blood glucose control and depression as well as their adherence to their diabetes and depression medicines, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine randomly assigned 180 people with Type 2 diabetes to either integrated care or usual care. The integrated care group received the usual primary care along with a short “medication adherence program.”

In the medication adherence program, the participants and their doctors worked along with integrated care providers to identify and deal with issues that might interfere with a person’s ability to take his medicines as advised, such as the price of the medicine or a lack of social support. The managers then crafted tailored programs to help these individuals stick to their diabetes medicine and antidepressant regimens. Electronic monitors were affixed to the pill bottles allowing the investigators to determine exactly when participants took their medicines over the course of the 12-week study.

At the end of the 12 weeks, 60.9% of those receiving the integrated treatment approach had improved their blood glucose levels, compared to only 35.7% of people receiving standard therapy. Moreover, 58.7% of participants in the integrated treatment group showed signs of remission in their depression, compared to only 30.7% of those in the usual treatment group.

“Though research demonstrates the link between depression and diabetes, few integrated programs are being implemented in practice,” lead author Hillary Bogner, MD, MSCE, noted. “Our results demonstrate that integrated treatment for both conditions, combined with a brief program focused on adherence for primary care patients with Type 2 diabetes and depression can result in a significant improvement in clinical outcomes. We hope the findings will encourage the adoption of adherence programs aimed at improving outcomes.”

To learn more about the research, read the article “Treatment for Diabetes and Depression Improves Both, Researchers Say” or see the study in The Annals of Family Medicine. And for more information about managing depression, see the articles in our “Emotional Health section” or visit the depression section on the Web site of the National Institute of Mental Health.


  1. That’e very true. Having suffered from diabetes myself for a long time, I now know that had I received counselling and medication for resulting depression as well alongside, I would have been better off. As more research is conducted, it will definitely reveal a growing relation between the two.

    Posted by paruresis website |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of R.A. Rapaport Publishing, Inc., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.

Type 2 Diabetes
FDA Approves Weekly Type 2 Diabetes Medicine (04/18/14)
Study on Factors Influencing Type 2 Management (04/15/14)
What's Your Diabetes "Type"? Gestational, MODY, and Steroid-Induced (04/15/14)
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)

Emotional Health
Worried About Diabetes? (03/26/14)
Diabetes Takes Courage (02/19/14)
The Stress Formula (02/04/14)
It's Not All in Your Head (But Your Head Can Help) (01/16/14)

Diabetes Research
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)
Diabetes Developed at Midlife May Affect Brain Function in Old Age (03/21/14)
Many Americans Taking Meds That Work Against Each Other (03/14/14)

Diabetes News
FDA Approves Weekly Type 2 Diabetes Medicine (04/18/14)
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
FDA Panel Votes in Favor of Inhalable Insulin; Diet Drug Recalled (04/09/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)

Diane Fennell
FDA Approves Weekly Type 2 Diabetes Medicine (04/18/14)
Overweight People With Type 2 May Benefit From Gastric Banding (04/11/14)
FDA Panel Votes in Favor of Inhalable Insulin; Diet Drug Recalled (04/09/14)
Good News About Good Diabetes Self-Management (03/28/14)



Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.

Carbohydrate Restriction: An Option for Diabetes Management
Some people find that decreasing the amount of carbohydrate they eat can help with blood glucose control. Here’s what to know about this approach.

Insulin Patch Pumps: A New Tool for Type 2
Patch pumps are simpler to operate than traditional insulin pumps and may be a good option for some people with Type 2 diabetes who need insulin.

How Much Do You Know About Vitamins?
Learn what these micronutrients can and can’t do for you.

Complete table of contents
Subscription questions