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Antidepressant Use by Type 1’s Associated with Increased Mortality Rates in Women

Individuals with diabetes have increased mortality rates compared with the general population. In patients with type 2 diabetes, depression further contributes to the increased mortality.

The association between depression and mortality rates in patients with type 1 diabetes is an understudied phenomenon which was studied in a prospective setting.

They followed 4,174 participants (51% men, age 39 ± 12 years, diabetes duration 22 ± 12 years [mean ± SD]) in the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy Study (FinnDiane) for an average of 9 years. Depression was defined as purchase of antidepressant agents at baseline and during follow-up. These data were obtained from the Finnish Drug Prescription Register. Data on all-cause mortality and cause of death were obtained from the Finnish Cause of Death Register.

At baseline, 313 (7.5%) patients had purchased antidepressant agents. During follow-up 758 (18.2%) additional cases were observed. Purchasers of antidepressant agents at baseline had the highest 10-year cumulative mortality rate (22.5% [95% CI 18.1, 26.6]), followed by those with such purchases during follow-up (18.0% [15.4, 20.5]) and those with no purchases (10.1% [9.0, 11.2], p < 0.001). In the adjusted Cox regression models (age, diabetes duration, diastolic blood pressure, smoking, HbA1c and nephropathy), the purchase of antidepressant agents at baseline was associated with mortality in women, but not in men. Cardiovascular diseases were the major cause of death in non-purchasers of antidepressant agents. In antidepressant purchasers, chronic diabetic complications were the most frequent underlying cause of death.

From the results it was concluded that in a population of patients with type 1 diabetes, purchase of antidepressant agents was associated with increased mortality rates in women, but not in men.

Diabetes Care, 2011 Nov;34(11):2368-73.