A new study has found that treating depression along with the co-existing condition such as heart disease or diabetes can prove to be helpful.
The study involved 214 patients with depression and heart disease, depression and diabetes, or both. All patients were recruited from 14 clinics within Group Health Cooperative, a nonprofit healthcare organization based in Seattle.
Around half of the patients received standard disease treatment along with depression care by a nurse manager, while the other half just received disease treatment. The blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and levels of depression were measured for 12 months.
The authors reported that the patients who received depression management had better blood sugar control, lower blood pressure, cholesterol and depression than those who did not get the nurse care manager.
"When patients have depression on top of heart disease and diabetes it's a double-whammy," said study coauthor Dr. Elizabeth Lin, a primary-care physician and researcher with Group Health Cooperative.
The details of the study appear in the New England Journal of Medicine.