ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Obesity May Raise Kids' Allergy Risk
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Air Pollution May Raise Blood Pressure
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Higher Vitamin D Intake Could Cut Cancer Risk
Regular Yoga May Improve Eating Habits
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Beware of Dog Bites
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
BONES & JOINTS
Study Examines How Rheumatoid Arthritis Destroys Bone
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
Resistance Training Boosts Mobility in Knee Arthritis Patients
CANCER
Want to Stop Cancer? You Can, Experts Say
Red Meat No No No But Oily Fish Yes Yes Yes
Smokeout '08: The Perfect Time to Quit
CAREGIVING
Hispanic Children More Likely to Have Hearing Loss
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Tiniest Babies Carry Biggest Costs
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Health Tip: At Risk for Gingivitis
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
Exercise Protects Black Women From Type 2 Diabetes
Red-Grape Compound May Improve Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Vitamin D Vital for the Heart
Mediterranean Diet May Help Prevent Depression
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
EPA Alerts Seniors to Carbon Monoxide Dangers
Main Ingredients in Household Dust Come From Outdoors
Global Warming Linked to Heightened Kidney Stone Risk
EYE CARE, VISION
Impotence Drugs Don't Harm Vision: Study
Green Tea May Ward Off Eye Disease
Brain Pressure More Likely to Cause Vision Loss in Men
FITNESS
Fall Cleanup Is a Prime Time for Accidents
Research Confirms How Valuable A Healthy Lifestyle Can Be
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
Food and Water Supply Poisoned by Perchlorate
Have a Goal in Life? You Might Live Longer
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
A Little Chocolate May Do the Heart Good
Research Shows Genetic Activity of Antioxidants
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Closes Three Schools in NYC
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Teens Lose More Weight Using Healthy Strategies
School Phys. Ed. Injuries Up 150 Percent
Heart Defects in Newborns Linked to Antidepressants
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Meditation, Yoga Might Switch Off Stress Genes
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Fear Response May Stem From Protein in Brain
PAIN
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Pregnant Women Exposed To Certain Pollutants Could Lower Childs IQ
SENIORS
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
For Older Walkers, Faster Is Better
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
Vitamin D Good for Breast Cancer Patients
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
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Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate

FRIDAY, Oct. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In a group of Medicare beneficiaries who have diabetes, being depressed was associated with a higher death rate, according to a new study.

Publishing in the October issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Washington tracked 10,704 Medicare beneficiaries (average age of 75.6 years) who had diabetes and were enrolled in a disease management program in Florida. The participants' depression status was assessed by physician diagnosis, patient reports of antidepressant use, and answers to a brief screening test.

The researchers followed the participants for two years and recorded any deaths and causes of death that took place during that time.

The participants who had both diabetes and depression had an approximately 36 percent to 38 percent increased risk of dying from any cause. A total of 12.1 percent of these participants died during the study, compared with 10.4 percent of the participants without depression.

Participants who were treated with antidepressant medications in the year prior to the study had a 24 percent increased risk of death, compared to the participants who were not depressed. The study's authors suspect that the participants treated with antidepressants may have had more severe depression than other mildly depressed participants.

There was no difference in the incidence of cardiovascular or cerebrovascular events between the participants who took antidepressants and those who were not depressed.

"Rates of mortality from vascular disease may be decreasing in recent years among patients with diabetes due to more aggressive treatment of high blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels, as well as widespread use of preventative medications such as aspirin and beta blockers," the researchers surmised.

The study's authors said there were several reasons why depression was associated with increased risk of death among the participants in their study.

First, depression has been associated with poor self-care and increased risk of poor health habits such as smoking and overeating. And, depression has been linked with nervous system disorders, endocrine system disorders, and inflammatory markers.

The authors noted that their study has certain limitations. The participants were selected from only one area of the United States, and the follow-up period was relatively short. And the study did not collect information on education, income, weight, smoking habits, physical activity, or compliance in taking medications.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about depression.



-- Krisha McCoy



SOURCE: University of Washington Health Sciences and UW Medicine, news release, Sept. 30, 2008

Last Updated: Oct. 10, 2008

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