, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 63-72
Date: 03 Aug 2011

Use of antidepressant medication and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three cohorts of US adults

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

The results of several studies have suggested a potential positive association between use of antidepressant medication (ADM) and incident type 2 diabetes mellitus. We examined this association in three cohorts of US adults.

Methods

We followed 29,776 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS, 1990–2006), 61,791 women in the Nurses’ Health Study I (NHS I, 1996–2008) and 76,868 women in NHS II (1993–2005), who were free of diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline. The mean baseline ages for participants from the HPFS and NHS I and II were 56.4, 61.3 and 38.1 years, respectively. ADM use and other covariates were assessed at baseline and updated every 2 years. A time-dependent Cox proportional hazards model was used, and HRs were pooled together across the three cohorts.

Results

During 1,644,679 person-years of follow-up, we documented 6,641 new cases of type 2 diabetes. ADM use was associated with an increased risk of diabetes in all three cohorts in age-adjusted models (pooled HR 1.68 [95% CI 1.27, 2.23]). The association was attenuated after adjustment for diabetes risk factors and histories of high cholesterol and hypertension (1.30 [1.14, 1.49]), and further attenuated by controlling for updated BMI (1.17 [1.09, 1.25]). Use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and other antidepressants (mainly tricyclic antidepressants) were both associated with an elevated risk of diabetes, with pooled multivariate-adjusted HRs of 1.10 (1.00, 1.22) and 1.26 (1.11, 1.42), respectively.

Conclusions/interpretation

The results suggest that ADM users had a moderately elevated risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with non-users, even after adjustment for BMI.