Depression treatment can help diabetics, study shows

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Depressed diabetics are more likely to see improvement in their physical symptoms if they pursue treatment for their depression, a new study reveals.

According to researchers at the University of Michigan, depression causes those with diabetes to be less vigilant about monitoring their blood sugar levels or to follow a diabetic diet. They are also less likely to exercise. In a yearlong study, researchers followed 291 patients with diabetes and significant depressive symptoms. Of those patients, 145 received 12 weeks of cognitive behavior therapy over the phone, followed by nine “booster” sessions once a month. These patients began a phased-in walking program, using a pedometer to gauge their success. The group undergoing the phone counseling and walking therapy successfully lowered their blood pressure, increased their physical activity and saw an improvement with their depressive symptoms.

The study was published online in the journal Medical Care.
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