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Depression Treatment Improves Glycemic Control

A recent study found that treating depression among low-income minority patients also improves these patients’ HbA1c and systolic blood pressure.

Senior author Dr. Mayer B. Davidson and associates highlighted that diabetic patients are more prone to depression, which is even more serious among diabetic minorities, who are more prone to worse glycemic control, more diabetes complications, and more severe depression.  However, few studies have focused on the effect of depression treatment among minorities with uncontrolled diabetes.

Of the 89 patients who participated in the study, the researchers found that the 45 patients who received medication for depression (sertraline) registered a significant 2-8 percent drop in HbA1c levels as compared to the placebo group.

On the other hand, systolic blood pressure, which averaged 137 mmHg in both groups at baseline, fell to a greater extent with sertraline (to 122 mmHg) than with placebo (131 mmHg).

According to the study authors, this simple two-question screening tool could be an effective way to identify depressed patients in a busy office practice, and if answers are in the affirmative, an antidepressant should be considered.  The researchers added: “In this manner, both depression and uncontrolled diabetes and systolic blood pressure may be improved.”

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