STUDY AFTER STUDY has shown that depression
and diabetes are somehow linked. “People with a
history of depression are up to 60;percent more
likely to develop [type; 2] diabetes when they get
older,” says Briana Mezuk, PhD, a professor at the
University of Michigan. And people who have type; 1
or 2 diabetes are at higher risk for depression.
The reasons why are harder to fathom. In studies
of identical twins, there are many cases in which one
twin has depression or diabetes and the other
doesn’t. That suggests that genes alone aren’t
responsible for the link between the two conditions.
Instead, the causes may be environmental.
“Depression is o;en a biological consequence of
a social disruption or life event,” Mezuk says.
Stress, in particular, seems to be a common thread
for both depression and diabetes.
Chronic stress can lead to depression. At the
same time, stress increases type; 2 diabetes risk.
Stressful situations release a cascade of hormones
in the body that a;ect digestion, metabolism, and
other important functions—part of the body’s
attempt to mobilize resources in a “;ght or ;ight”
situation. Stress also prompts behaviors such as
unhealthy eating, which can contribute to obesity
and type; 2 diabetes.
Diabetes and depression are linked.
Could stress be the culprit?
| By Andrew Curry
University of Michigan
AMERICAN DIABE TES
FUNDING Innovative Clinical or
BRIANA MEZUK, P;D