Researchers have found that depression can play a direct role in developing type 2 diabetes, even if you’re not overweight.
Experts have long known that people with diabetes are about twice as likely to suffer from depression as people without diabetes.
It is also well known that people with depression have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
But a new study funded by the charity Diabetes UK has found seven genetic variants that contribute to both type 2 diabetes and depression.
Leading experts and charities today called the findings “extremely important” and urged health officials to additionally consider depression as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes Obesity, inactivity, and a family history of the condition.
Experts have long known that people with the condition are about twice as likely to develop depression as people without diabetes. It is also well known that people with depression have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. But new research funded by the charity Diabetes UK has found seven genetic variants that contribute to both type 2 diabetes and depression
According to the latest UK figures, almost 4.3 million people were living with diabetes in 2021/22. And another 850,000 people have diabetes and are unaware of it, which is worrying because untreated type 2 diabetes can lead to complications like heart disease and stroke
Researchers found for the first time that depression directly leads to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, but not that diabetes causes depression.
The study found that obesity explained only 36.5 percent of the impact of depression on type 2 diabetes.
Overweight people are much more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people of normal weight.
The researchers also identified seven genetic variants that contribute to both type 2 diabetes and depression.
These shared genes play a role in insulin secretion or inflammation in the brain, pancreas or adipose tissue, and changes in these biological processes may explain how type 2 depression worsens, they suggested.
What is type 2 diabetes?
Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes a person’s blood sugar to rise too high.
It is believed that over 4 million people in the UK have some form of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is associated with being overweight and there is a higher risk of getting it when it runs in the family.
The condition means that the body does not respond properly to insulin – the hormone that controls the absorption of sugar into the blood – and cannot properly regulate the level of sugar sugar in the blood.
Excess fat in the liver increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes because the accumulation of fat makes it harder to control glucose levels and also makes the body more resistant to insulin.
Weight loss is key to reducing liver fat and controlling symptoms.
Symptoms include fatigue, feeling thirsty, and frequent urination.
It can lead to more serious problems with the nerves, vision, and heart.
Treatment usually involves changing your diet and lifestyle, but medication may be needed in more severe cases.
Source: NHS Choices; Diabetes.co.uk
Although no direct cause has been identified for the development of depression from diabetes, experts still believe that the stress of living with type 2 diabetes may be a factor in the development of depression.
dr Elizabeth Robertson, Head of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “This extremely important study gives us new insight into the links between genetics, type 2 diabetes and depression and suggests that depression may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes. “
“Type 2 diabetes is complex and has multiple risk factors – and previous research has shown that the condition is more common in people with depression.”
“This study gives us a better insight into the reasons and shows that depression should now be considered as a risk factor for type 2.”
“This knowledge could help healthcare professionals improve care and support for people with a history of depression and prevent more cases of type 2 diabetes.”
“We strongly encourage anyone living with depression to know their risk for type 2 diabetes by completing Diabetes UK’s free online Know Your Risk tool so they can get the right support to reduce their risk and to avoid type 2 diabetes.”
Inga Prokopenko, Professor of e-One Health and Head of the Statistical Multi-Omics Department at the University of Surrey, who led the study, said: “Our discovery sheds light on depression as one of the causes of type 2 diabetes and may contribute to it to improve prevention efforts.”
“The findings are important both for people living with the disease and for healthcare providers who should consider introducing additional research to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes in people with depression.”
The study, published in diabetes treatmentused data from hundreds of thousands of people in the UK and Finland, including 19,344 people with type 2 diabetes, more than 5,000 people diagnosed with depression and 153,079 people who self-reported depression.
In the journal, the researchers concluded: “Our findings underscore the importance of preventing type 2 diabetes at the onset of depressive symptoms and the need to maintain a healthy weight in relation to its impact on depression and type 2 diabetes comorbidity to maintain.”
According to the latest UK figures, almost 4.3 million people were living with diabetes in 2021/22.
And another 850,000 people have diabetes and are completely unaware of it.
This worries health officials because untreated type 2 diabetes can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke.
About 90 percent of diabetes cases are type 2 diabetes, which is associated with obesity and is typically diagnosed in middle age, rather than type 1 diabetes, a genetic condition that is usually recognized early in life.