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Long-Term Antidepressant Use May Increase Type 2 DM Risk

Last Updated: December 16, 2010.

When people at risk for type 2 diabetes use antidepressants long term they may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, although metformin may protect against this, according to a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

THURSDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- When people at risk for type 2 diabetes use antidepressants long term they may be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes, although metformin may protect against this, according to a study published in the December issue of Diabetes Care.

Richard R. Rubin, Ph.D., of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, and colleagues followed 2,665 participants from 1996 to 1999 who were at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Initially divided into metformin, placebo, and lifestyle intervention groups, the masked protocol was discontinued in 2001. In this study, researchers followed these participants for a median of 10 years.

The investigators found that long-term antidepressant use was strongly associated with developing type 2 diabetes. Patients in the placebo and lifestyle intervention groups, who were using antidepressants continuously throughout the study, were much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes (hazard ratios, 2.34 and 2.48, respectively). Metformin group participants using antidepressants continuously seemed to decrease their risk for developing type 2 diabetes (hazard ratio, 0.55). Results did not change when researchers excluded tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants, which are likely to cause weight gain and thereby increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

"Further study of antidepressant medicine-related diabetes risk has substantial public health implications. The possible benefits of metformin in depression treatment should also be studied," the authors write.

Authors disclosed funding and material support from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Parke-Davis, Lipha, and LifeScan.

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