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Insulin resistance and depression: cross sectional study

BMJ 2004; 330 doi: (Published 30 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;330:17
  1. Markku Timonen, acting professor (,
  2. Mauri Laakso, senior lecturer2,
  3. Jari Jokelainen, biostatistician2,
  4. Ulla Rajala, research fellow1,
  5. V Benno Meyer-Rochow, professor3,
  6. Sirkka Keinänen-Kiukaanniemi, professor4
  1. 1 Department of Public Health Science and General Practice, University of Oulu, Box 5000, FIN-90014, Finland,
  2. 2 Unit of General Practice, Oulu University Hospital, 90029 OYS, Finland,
  3. 3 International University Bremen, School of Engineering and Science, D-28725 Bremen, Germany,
  4. 4 Oulu Health Centre, Box 8, FIN-90015 City of Oulu, Finland
  1. Correspondence to: M Timonen
  • Accepted 16 November 2004


A recent study found that depression is inversely associated with insulin resistance, but positively associated with diabetes.1 Association between insulin resistance and depression is a poorly studied area and the few earlier findings do not necessarily support this finding,1 indicating that patients with serious depression have insulin resistance assessed by insulin tolerance, intravenous, or oral glucose tolerance tests.2 Recently, depression was found to be associated with greater insulin resistance in women with polycystic ovary syndrome.3 Also, more than the normal rates of depression had already been noted in patients with clinically manifest diabetes.2 Since insulin resistance is positively associated with the development of diabetes,1 we hypothesised—given that disturbed glucoregulatory functions behind the development of diabetes might be associated with pathophysiological changes in depression2—that insulin resistance should be positively correlated with depressive symptoms. We also investigated whether depressive symptoms varied with different levels of a disturbed glucose metabolism.

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