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Long term antidepressant use linked to increased risk of diabetes

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Does antidepressant use increase the risk of developing diabetes in adults aged 30 years or over?


165 958 people with depression prescribed antidepres-sants between 1 January 1990 and 30 June 2005, as recorded in the UK General Practice Research Database. Eligible participants had to be aged at least 30 years, with no diagnosis of diabetes or treatment with oral antidiabetics or insulin, and no treatment with antidepressants in the year before study entry. Participants were followed-up until the first date of new onset diabetes, change of antidepressant, death, end of registration with the GP practice or the end of the study. Cases were matched with up to four controls for age, gender and year of study entry.


Population study, UK general practices; January 1990-June 2005.

Risk factors:

Exposure to antidepressants classified as tricyclic and tetracyclic, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors and other antidepressants. Recent exposure was defined as a prescription in the previous 6 months; former exposure between 6 and 12 months before; past exposure between 12 and 24 months before; and non-use was no use for 2 years. Duration of each prescription was the quantity prescribed …

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  • Sources of funding Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and an unrestricted grant from Bayer Schering (for database acquisition).


  • Competing interests YC is a full time employee of Lilly. NCP has received research support from Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America and the Thrasher Foundation, and is a consultant for Lilly and Shire. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely those of the authors.

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