ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Overweight Moms More Likely to Have Asthmatic Kids
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Wristbands May Lessen Nausea After Radiation
Maggots as Good as Gel in Leg Ulcer Treatments
Quit Smoking the Holistic Way
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
BONES & JOINTS
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
Tips to Ease an Aching Back
CANCER
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Immune Therapy May Aid Kids With Neuroblastoma
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
CAREGIVING
Obese Children More Likely to Suffer Lower Body Injuries
Late-Life Fatherhood May Lower Child's Intelligence
Older Caregivers Prone to Worse Sleep Patterns
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Night Shift Work Hard on the Heart
Salt Boosts Blood Pressure in High-Risk Patients
Walk 100 Steps a Minute for 'Moderate' Exercise
COSMETIC
New Genetic Links to Baldness Discovered
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Holistic Dentistry-My View
Rheumatoid Arthritis May Harm Gums
Biological Product Shows Promise Against Gum Disease
DIABETES
Laughter May Lower Heart Attack Risk in Diabetics
Brown Rice Bests White for Diabetes Prevention
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
DIET, NUTRITION
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Meat Additives May Be Dangerous for Kidney Patients
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
DISABILITIES
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Gas Stove Emissions Boost Asthma in Inner-City Kids
Global Warming May Bring More Respiratory Woes
Plastics Chemical Tied to Aggression in Young Girls
EYE CARE, VISION
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
Diabetic Eye Disease Rates Soaring
Kids' Eye Injuries From Golf Clubs Rare But Severe
FITNESS
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day? Who Knew!
Keep Safety in Mind While Your Kids Are Cooling Off in the Water
Almost Two-Thirds of Americans Meet Exercise Guidelines
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
HRT Use Raises Risk of Stomach Trouble
New Yogurt May Ease Stomach Ulcers
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
GENERAL HEALTH
Autumn Chores Often Hazardous
When Healing Becomes a Commodity
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Study Suggests Link Between Cell Phones and Brain Tumors
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Boosting Vitamin D Can Do a Heart Good
Polyunsaturated Fats Really May Lower Heart Risk
Coffee Is Generally Heart-Friendly
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Older Adults May Have Some Immunity to Swine Flu
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Treat Kids to a Safe Halloween
Music May Temper Pain in Preemies
More Calcium And Dairy Products in Childhood Could Mean Longer Life
MEN'S HEALTH
Could Chinese Herb Be a Natural Viagra?
Exercise May Prevent Prostate Cancer: Study Shows
Eating Fast Until Full Triples Overweight Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Environmental Chemicals May Affect Male Reproduction
Consciousness Helps the Mind and Body Work Together
Green Spaces Boost the Body and the Mind
PAIN
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
Tai Chi May Help Ease Fibromyalgia
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Before Conceiving, Take Folic Acid for One Full Year
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
Any Old Cane Won't Do
Money May Matter, Health-Wise, in Old Age
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Mom and Baby Alike May Benefit From Exercise
Natural Childbirth Moms More Attuned to Babies' Cry
Vitamin D Deficiency Puts 40% of U.S. Infants and Toddlers At Risk
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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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