Depression in postmenopausal women ups diabetes and heart disease risk

Washington, June 14 (ANI): A new study has found that postmenopausal women who use antidepressant medication or suffer from depression might be more likely to have a higher body mass index (BMI), larger waist circumference and inflammation-all associated with increased risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School study investigated whether elevated depressive symptoms and antidepressant use are associated with biomarkers for glucose dysregulation and inflammation, BMI and waist circumference.

The three main findings indicate that both elevated depressive symptoms and antidepressant use are each significantly associated with higher BMI and waist circumference; elevated depressive symptoms are associated with increased levels of insulin and insulin resistance; and antidepressant use is associated with increased C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a marker of inflammation, which increases the risk of type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

"It may be prudent to monitor post-menopausal women who have elevated depression symptoms or are taking antidepressant medication to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease," lead researchers Dr. Yunsheng Ma, associate professor of medicine, who with UMMS colleagues analyzed data from the landmark Women's Health Initiative (WHI), said.

Postmenopausal women were recruited into the WHI from 1993 to 1998, and data for this analysis were collected at regular intervals through 2005.

Using data from 1,953 women who completed all relevant WHI assessments, the study found that elevated depressive symptoms were found to be significantly associated with increased insulin levels and measures of insulin resistance.

Significantly, throughout the entire 7.6 years on average that women were enrolled in the WHI, those who had elevated depressive symptoms or were using antidepressants had higher average BMI and waist circumference than did women not using antidepressants or without depressive symptoms among 71,809 women.

Analysis of data from 2,242 women showed that both elevated depressive symptoms and antidepressant use was associated with higher CRP levels, a marker of inflammation.

The study is published in the American Journal of Public Health. (ANI)

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