The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Depression and diabetes series media alert

May 17, 2015

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal is pleased to announce that the following Series of papers on depression and diabetes will be published on Monday 18 May to coincide with the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

The Series is accompanied by another Series of papers on Diabetes and psychotic disorders, available in the latest issue of The Lancet Psychiatry. Constructs of depression and distress in diabetes: time for an appraisal
by Professor Frank Snoek et al

Depression presents in roughly 20% of people with diabetes worldwide, and adversely affects quality of life and treatment outcomes. The causes of depression in diabetes are poorly understood, but research suggests a bi-directional association, at least for type 2 diabetes. Inconsistent findings regarding prevalence and depression treatment outcomes in patients with diabetes seem partly attributable to inconsistencies in the definition and measurement of depression and in distinguishing it from diabetes-distress, a psychological concept related to depression. We review evidence suggesting that diabetes-distress and depression are correlated and overlapping constructs, but are not interchangeable. Importantly, diabetes-distress seems to mediate the association between depression and glycaemic control. We propose a model to explain the direct and indirect effects of depression and diabetes-distress on glycaemic control. Additionally, using emerging insights from data-driven approaches, we suggest three distinct symptom profiles to define depression in patients with diabetes that could help explain differential associations between depression and metabolic abnormalities, and to tailor interventions for depression. Future research should focus on further refining depression profiles in patients with diabetes, taking into account the natural history of diabetes and depression, clinical characteristics, and diabetes-distress. The assessment of diabetes-distress and depression in research and clinical practice will be essential to identify high-risk patients with different mental health needs.

The link between depression and diabetes: the search for shared mechanisms
by Dr Calum Moulton, et al

Depression is twice as common in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes as in the general population, and is associated with poor outcomes. Evidence is growing that depression and type 2 diabetes share biological origins, particularly overactivation of innate immunity leading to a cytokine-mediated inflammatory response, and potentially through dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Throughout the life course, these pathways can lead to insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, depression, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and increased mortality. Proinflammatory cytokines might directly affect the brain, causing depressive symptoms. In type 1 diabetes, mediators of depression are not well studied, with research hindered by inconsistent definitions of depression and scarcity of observational, mechanistic, and interventional research along the life course. Despite few studies, evidence suggests that familial relationships and burden of a lifelong disorder with an onset early in personality development might contribute to increased vulnerability to depression. Overall, longitudinal research is needed to identify risk factors and mechanisms for depression in patients with diabetes, particularly early in the life course. Ultimately, improved understanding of shared origins of depression and diabetes could provide the potential to treat and improve outcomes of both disorders simultaneously. These shared origins are targets for primary prevention of type 2 diabetes.

Depression and diabetes: treatment and health-care delivery
by Professor Frank Petrak, et al

Despite research efforts in the past 20 years, scientific evidence about screening and treatment for depression in diabetes remains incomplete and is mostly focused on North American and European health-care systems. Validated instruments to detect depression in diabetes, although widely available, only become effective and thus recommended if subsequent treatment pathways are accessible, which is often not the case. Because of the well known adverse effects of the interaction between depression and diabetes, treatment goals should focus on the remission or improvement of depression as well as improvement in glycaemic control as a marker for subsequent diabetes outcome. Scientific evidence evaluating treatment for depression in type 1 and type 2 diabetes shows that depression can be treated with moderate success by various psychological and pharmacological interventions, which are often implemented through collaborative care and stepped-care approaches. The evidence for improved glycaemic control in the treatment of depression by use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or psychological approaches is conflicting; only some analyses show small to moderate improvements in glycaemic control. More research is needed to evaluate treatment of different depression subtypes in people with diabetes, the cost-effectiveness of treatments, the use of health-care resources, the need to account for cultural differences and different health-care systems, and new treatment and prevention approaches.

The Lancet

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