Peer Reviewed

Health Outcomes

Antidepressants Improve Outcomes in Diabetes Patients

Regular antidepressant use may improve outcomes for patients with depression and diabetes mellitus, according to the results of a recent study.

A nationwide retrospective cohort study was conducted to examine the relationship between frequency of antidepressant use, diabetic cardiometabolic complications, and all-cause mortality in this patient population. A total of 36,276 adults within Taiwan’s universal health insurance database were included.

Over the study period of 6 months, antidepressant use was grouped into 4 categories: none, poor, partial, and regular use. While different categories of antidepressants were examined, the researchers also observed benzodiazepines as a negative control exposure.

The results indicated that regular use of antidepressants was associated with a 0.92-fold decreased risk of macrovascular complications and a 0.86-fold decreased risk of all-cause mortality when compared to poor use of antidepressants. Further, there was a 0.83-fold decreased risk of macrovascular complications and 0.75-fold decreased risk of all-cause mortality in those who regularly used selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. The risk of all-cause mortality decreased 0.78-fold with regular use of tricyclic or tetracyclic antidepressants.

However, no association was identified between the regular use of antidepressants and microvascular complications, or the regular use of benzodiazepine and diabetic outcomes.

“Regular antidepressant use was associated with lower risk of advanced diabetic complications compared with poor adherence,” the researchers concluded. “Clinicians should emphasize antidepressant treatment adherence among patients with depression and diabetes mellitus.”


—Leigh Precopio



Wu CS, Hsu LY, Pan YJ, Wang SH. Associations between antidepressant use and advanced diabetes outcomes in patients with depression and diabetes mellitus. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. Published online July 14, 2021. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgab443