Depression Identified as a Direct Risk Factor for Type 2 Diabetes, According to Genetic Study
By Kim Jeong-eun, Daily Post Reporter
New research utilizing genetic analysis has uncovered a groundbreaking causal relationship between depression and type 2 diabetes. The study, published in the prestigious journal ‘Diabetes Care’, sheds light on the complex interplay between mental health and physical well-being.
Previous studies have hinted at a correlation between depression and type 2 diabetes, with evidence suggesting that individuals with the latter are twice as likely to experience the former. However, until now, it remained unclear whether the sedentary lifestyle commonly associated with depression led to the development of lifestyle diseases, or if poor mental health exacerbated physical conditions.
Taking a fresh approach, Professor Inga Profenko and her research team from the University of Surrey conducted a study employing ‘Mendelian randomization’. This innovative methodology investigates the role of genes in determining disease risk factors. By examining the relationship between genetic mutations associated with type 2 diabetes and depressive symptoms, the team sought to elucidate the causal link between the two conditions.
The study utilized medical databases in the UK and Finland, analyzing records of 19,344 patients with type 2 diabetes, 5,262 patients diagnosed with depression, and 153,079 individuals self-reporting depressive symptoms. Remarkably, the findings revealed depression as a direct and significant risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes. The research team also identified seven genetic mutations linked to both conditions, with these mutations affecting insulin secretion and brain, pancreas, and adipose tissue inflammation.
The research team’s conclusions were based on several key factors. Firstly, they noted that 37% of the effect of depression on type 2 diabetes could be explained by BMI levels. Additionally, they highlighted the weight gain associated with antidepressant use as a contributing factor for developing type 2 diabetes. Finally, the increased secretion of stress hormones observed in individuals with depression was identified as exacerbating insulin resistance.
While the study definitively establishes depression as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, no direct evidence has yet been found to suggest the reverse relationship. However, it is important to consider the indirect connection between the two diseases. The burden of managing type 2 diabetes can, in itself, lead to depression.
Speaking about the study’s implications, Professor Profenko emphasized the importance of additional screening to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in individuals with depression. The findings have clear implications for both patients suffering from depression and their healthcare providers, highlighting the need for comprehensive and integrated care.
As our understanding of the intricate relationship between mental and physical health deepens, this study serves as a vital reminder of the importance of holistic healthcare approaches. The findings underscore the need for healthcare providers to treat patients from a multidimensional perspective, taking into account both their mental and physical well-being.
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ㅣDaily Post=Reporter Kim Jeong-eunㅣCurrent studies have shown that there is a relationship between depression and type 2 diabetes, and it is known that patients with type 2 diabetes are about twice as likely to experience depression. However, it is not clear whether the lower activity level of depressed patients leads to lifestyle diseases or, on the contrary, their mental health worsens due to poor physical condition.
New research focusing on genes has revealed a causal relationship that depression is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. This paper was published in ‘Diabetes Care’, the journal of the American Diabetes Association.
ⓒDaily Post=Image provided/Diabetes Care
Depression and type 2 diabetes show common symptoms such as fatigue, abnormal sleeping hours, and poor concentration. Until now, it was not clear whether there was a causal relationship between depression and type 2 diabetes or whether other factors were the common cause of both diseases.
Accordingly, Professor Inga Profenko’s research team at the University of Surrey, UK, carried out a study using ‘Mendelian randomisation’, which investigates disease risk factors using genes as clues. Mendelian randomization analysis is a research method that infers causal relationships by analyzing the relationship between environmental risk factors for a specific disease and genetic mutations associated with it.
The research team extracted the records of 19,344 patients with type 2 diabetes, 5,262 patients diagnosed with depression, and 153,079 people who self-reported depressive symptoms from medical databases in the UK and Finland, and analyzed genetic and health information .
As a result, it was revealed for the first time that depression is one of the direct causes of increasing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The research team also identified seven genetic mutations that contribute to type 2 diabetes and depression.
These mutations are associated with insulin secretion or inflammation in the brain, pancreas, and adipose tissue. Problems with these biological processes are thought to lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes due to depression.
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The research team based this study on (1) that 37% of the effect of depression on type 2 diabetes can be explained by BMI levels, (2) that antidepressants cause weight gain and cause type 2 diabetes, and (3) depression. It has been noted that the increased secretion of stress hormones exacerbates insulin resistance.
Although depression has been shown to be a contributing cause of type 2 diabetes, there is no direct evidence to suggest that type 2 diabetes leads to the development of depression.
However, it is difficult to deny the indirect relationship between the two diseases. For example, the burden of fighting type 2 diabetes can cause depression.
Professor Profenko said, “This finding highlights the need for additional screening to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes in patients with depression. This will be an important finding for patients suffering from depression and their healthcare providers. “
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