, Volume 227, Issue 3, pp 467-477
Date: 20 Jan 2013

Antidepressant use and glycemic control

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Abstract

Rationale

Past research on the association of antidepressant medication use with glycemic control abnormalities has produced mixed results.

Objective

To examine the association of antidepressant use with glycemic control abnormalities and screen-positive diabetes in a representative population sample of US adults without a diagnosis of diabetes.

Methods

Using data from adult participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES, 2005–2010), the association of antidepressant use with continuous measures of HbA1c, fasting blood sugar, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test, insulin sensitivity and screen-positive diabetes according to HbA1c, fasting blood sugar and 2-h oral glucose tolerance test were assessed.

Results

Antidepressant use was not associated with increased levels of HbA1c, fasting blood sugar, 2-h oral glucose tolerance test, reduced insulin sensitivity or increased prevalence of screen-positive diabetes. Results were mostly consistent across sociodemographic groups and across different lengths of exposure, different classes of antidepressants and levels of body mass index.

Conclusions

In this representative population sample, antidepressant use was not associated with an increased risk of abnormalities in glycemic control or undetected diabetes. Positive findings from past research may be attributable to detection bias, in that individuals prescribed antidepressants may be more likely to be tested and diagnosed with diabetes.