A new study shows women with diabetes have a higher risk of depression.
British researchers studied more than 4,200 women between ages 60 and 79. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group included women with diabetes, and the second included those without diabetes. Women who did not have diabetes were again divided into four smaller groups, based on their levels of insulin resistance.
Researchers assessed the women's mental states by evaluating their medications, medical history, and results from a mood questionnaire. Results of the study show women without diabetes, who have increasing levels of insulin resistance, are not likely to be depressed. However, the risk of depression increases in women with diabetes.
Previous studies have shown individuals who are insulin-resistant may have higher serotonin concentrations and may be more prone to depression and even suicide. Authors of the study write, "Insulin resistance is inversely associated with depression. Our results are consistent with a large prospective study in which indicators of insulin sensitivity were associated with suicide risk." They say women with diabetes may be more likely to suffer depression because of the clinical diagnosis.
Authors of the study conclude, "If our findings are confirmed, there may be an indication for assessing depressive symptoms among individuals receiving treatments that affect insulin resistance, since depressive symptoms are often disabling and could affect compliance with treatment and quality of life."