ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
Traffic, Dust Linked to Asthma in Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Indigo Ointment Benefits Psoriasis Patients
Acupuncture Eases Side Effects of Head, Neck Cancer Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
In Elderly Women, Hip Fractures Often Follow Arm Breaks
Most Kids With Type 1 Diabetes Lack Vitamin D
Living Near Major Road May Boost Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk
CANCER
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
Massage Therapy Helps Those With Advanced Cancer
Women Smokers Lose 14.5 Years Off Life Span
CAREGIVING
U.S. Mental Health Spending Rises, But Many Still Left Out
Caregivers Face Multiple Strains Tending Older Parents
When the Caregiver Becomes the Patient
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Migraines in Pregnancy Boost Vascular Risks
Support Network May Play Role in Benefits of Drinking
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
Mouse Study Finds Molecule That Tells Hair to Grow
Health Tip: After Liposuction
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Acupuncture May Ease Anxiety Over Dental Work
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
DIABETES
Spices, Herbs Boost Health for Diabetics
Coffee, Tea Might Stave Off Diabetes
Study Shows Turmeric May Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
DIET, NUTRITION
Fruits, Vegetables, Teas May Cut Smokers' Cancer Risk
Cinnamon Breaks Up Brain Plaques, May Hold Key to Fighting Alzheimer’s
Quick Weight Loss May Be Best for Long-Term Success
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Cleaning House May Be Risky for Women With Asthma
Pregnant Rural Women More at Risk
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
EYE CARE, VISION
Contact Lens Cases Often Contaminated
Kids Think Glasses Make Others Look Smart, Honest
Antioxidant-Rich Diet May Protect Against Eye Disease
FITNESS
Daily Exercise at School Yields Rewards
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
GENERAL HEALTH
Keep Fire Safety in Mind as You Celebrate
Whole Grains, Bran May Fight Hypertension in Men
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Fructose Boosts Blood Pressure, Studies Find
Drinking Your Way to Health? Perhaps Not
Years of Heavy Smoking Raises Heart Risks
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Dry Weather Boosts Odds of Flu Outbreaks
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Should Your Child Be Seeing a Chiropractor?
Help Your Kids Stay Active
Exercise in Adolescence May Cut Risk of Deadly Brain Tumor
MEN'S HEALTH
Strenuous Daily Workout May Keep Cancer at Bay
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Keeping Mentally Active Seems To Keep The Brain Active
Eight Spiritual Universal Principles in the Art of Practice
A Simple 'Thank You' Brings Rewards to All
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Woman in America Are Delaying Motherhood, Study Says
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
SENIORS
The Juice From Beetroots May Boost Stamina
More Whole Grains May Mean Less Fat
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Pay Attention to Signs That Say You're Too Fatigued to Drive
Lose Weight, Sleep Apnea May Improve
Moderate Aerobics May Ease Insomnia Symptoms
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Rheumatoid Arthritis Rising Among U.S. Women
How Much Fish to Eat While Pregnant?
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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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