Researchers uncover link between mood disorders and type 2 diabetes

It is well documented that individuals with type 2 diabetes have a high risk of developing depression due to the demands of managing their health. Careful meal planning and regular blood glucose testing may consume hours of one's day and cause a person to become overwhelmed.

Now, a recent study presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association indicated that mood disorders may precede diabetes in many cases, especially among Latinos, according to an article published in the Los Angeles Times.

According to the newspaper, Latino populations have a higher prevalence of diabetes, depression and anxiety than other ethnicities.

In order to determine which illness is more likely to be diagnosed first among these individuals, the investigators evaluated the medical records of 129 Latinos who lived in California.

The study's results showed that among men and women who had diabetes and depression, 54 percent of males developed diabetes before the mental illness, compared to 24 percent who were diagnosed with depression first. Similarly, a total of 59 percent of women developed diabetes first, while 29 were depressed before they became insulin resistant, the news provider reported.

The findings also indicated that anxiety preceded diabetes more often than depression, since 45 percent of men and 39 percent of women experienced anxiety first.

"Poor motivation, poor eating habits, and lack of impulse control in patients with mood and anxiety symptoms could be considered as contributing factors for the development of metabolic syndrome and diabetes," said the study's authors, quoted by the news source.

The investigators noted that it may be important for Latinos who have mood disorders to undergo regular blood glucose monitoring and lifestyle counseling in order to help prevent type 2 diabetes and vice versa.

The National Institutes of Health states that depression is treatable among individuals with chronic medical conditions, especially when these people have access to collaborative care.