Young people with chronic illness more likely to attempt suicide

Young people between the ages of 15 and 30 living with a chronic illness are three times more likely to attempt suicide than their healthy peers, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

The study found that chronic conditions — such as asthma, diabetes and Crohn’s disease — increase a young person’s odds of suicidal thoughts by 28 per cent and plans to die by suicide by 134 per cent. Having a chronic condition increases the odds of a suicide attempt by 363 per cent.

“Evidence suggests risk for suicide attempts is highest soon after young people are diagnosed with a chronic illness,” said Mark Ferro, a professor in Waterloo’s Faculty of Applied Health Sciences. “There is a critical window of opportunity for prevention and continued monitoring.”

Full story at Science Daily

Late sleep-wake time preference linked to depression in individuals with diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes who are “night owls” and prefer the evening for activity report having more symptoms of depression than those who are early to bed and early to rise, regardless of the quality of their sleep, a new study finds. Study results are being presented Saturday at the Endocrine Society’s 99th annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

“These findings are important because depression is common in patients with type 2 diabetes,” said lead investigator Sirimon Reutrakul, M.D., an associate professor at Mahidol University Faculty of Medicine, Bangkok, Thailand. “Also, previous studies show that untreated depression is related to worse patient outcomes, including diabetes self-care, blood glucose control and diabetes complications.”

In the general public, people with a later “chronotype,” meaning a preference to go to bed late and wake up late, tend to have more symptoms of depression than do people who go to bed early and wake up early (early chronotype or morning preference), past studies have found. Reutrakul and her co-investigators wanted to study people with type 2 diabetes, who have an increased risk of depression, to learn whether a later chronotype, or preference for evening activity, was independently associated with greater depression symptoms.

Full story of late sleep-wake time and depression at Science Daily

Cortisol excess hits natural DNA process and mental health hard

High concentrations of the stress hormone, Cortisol, in the body affect important DNA processes and increase the risk of long-term psychological consequences. These relationships are evident in a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy on patients with Cushing’s Syndrome, but the findings also open the door for new treatment strategies for other stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress.

“If these results can be verified and repeated in other studies, they would have significance for future possibilities for treating stress-induced psychological consequences,” says Camilla Glad, postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition.

The uncommon disease, Cushing’s Syndrome, involves a substantial overproduction of Cortisol resulting from a benign tumor of the pituitary or adrenal gland. The condition is characterized by abdominal obesity, fat deposits in the face and neck, high blood pressure and diabetes. To a high extent, the affected individuals also risk suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, depression and cognitive impairment.

Full story of Cortisol excess affecting DNA processes at Science Daily

Lipid testing underutilized in adults taking antipsychotic medications

Too few adults taking antipsychotic medications are being screened for abnormalities in lipids, which include cholesterol and triglycerides, new research from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus finds.

The biggest gap in screening is among adults age 40 and younger, the group for whom early detection and intervention has been shown to be effective when additional cardiovascular risk is present.

Adults with serious mental illness die 20 to 30 years earlier than their peers, largely due to increased risk for diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease. Taking antipsychotic medication increases that risk. The American Diabetes Association and American Psychiatric Association recommends more intensive diabetes and cholesterol lipid screening for patients receiving antipsychotics, but rates of screening have remained low.

Full story of lipid testing in adults taking antipsychotic medications at Science Daily

Depression, weight gain in pregnancy linked to sitting down

A link between depression in pregnancy and long periods of sitting down has been identified by researchers from the University of Warwick.

The study found those suffering from symptoms of depression during pregnancy are more likely to sit down for long periods of time in the second trimester. The academics also found this puts them at risk of greater weight gain and contracting gestational diabetes.

The study was led by Dr Nithya Sukumar, Clinical Research Fellow, Metabolic & Vascular Health, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick has been presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh.

Full story of depression and weight gain in pregnancy at Science Daily

High risk of sleep apnea in young veterans with PTSD

A new study of young U.S. veterans shows that the probability of having a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) increased with increasing severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms.

The study involved 195 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who visited a VA outpatient PTSD clinic for evaluation. Results show that 69.2 percent of participants had a high risk for sleep apnea, and this risk increased with PTSD symptom severity. Every clinically significant increase in PTSD symptom severity was associated with a 40 percent increase in the probability of screening as high risk for sleep apnea.

“The implication is that veterans who come to PTSD treatment, even younger veterans, should be screened for obstructive sleep apnea so that they have the opportunity to be diagnosed and treated,” said co-principal investigator Sonya Norman, PhD, researcher at the San Diego VA, director of the PTSD Consultation Program at the National Center for PTSD, and an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. “This is critical information because sleep apnea is a risk factor for a long list of health problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and psychological problems including depression, worsening PTSD and anxiety.”

Full story of sleep apnea in young veterans with PTSD at Science Daily

Antipsychotic use may increase the risk for diabetes in some children, new Medicaid data show

Today in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s (CHOP) PolicyLab published the largest study to date documenting the significant risks to children’s health associated with prescription antipsychotics, a powerful a class of medications used to treat mental and behavioral health disorders. The results suggest that initiating antipsychotics may elevate a child’s risk not only for significant weight gain, but also for Type II diabetes by nearly 50 percent; moreover, among children who are also receiving antidepressants, the risk may double. Previous PolicyLab research showed that one in three youth receiving antidepressants in the Medicaid program were receiving an antipsychotic at the same time.

Traditionally, antipsychotics have been narrowly prescribed to children with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or to those with significant developmental delays who were displaying aggressive behaviors that were potentially injurious to themselves or others. However, in recent years, these medications are increasingly being prescribed in the absence of strong supporting safety and efficacy data to treat healthier children and adolescents with disruptive behaviors, such as those who are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Full story of anti-psychotics and diabetes in children at Science Daily

TSD doubles diabetes risk in women

Women with post-traumatic stress disorder are nearly twice as likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared with women who don’t have PTSD, according to researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and Harvard School of Public Health.

The longitudinal cohort study provides the strongest evidence to date of a causal relationship between PTSD and type 2 diabetes. Results are published online in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.

The researchers analyzed survey data collected between 1989 and 2011 from 49,739 women enrolled in the Nurses Health Study II and found a dose-response relationship: the greater the number and severity of PTSD symptoms, the greater a woman’s risk of type 2 diabetes. Four percent of the nurses reported the highest number of PTSD symptoms. By age 60, nearly 12 percent of women with the highest number of PTSD symptoms had developed type 2 diabetes, whereas fewer than 7 percent of women with no trauma exposure had diabetes.

Full story of TSD and diabetes risk in women at Science Daily

Work-related stress a risk factor for type 2 diabetes

Workplace stress can have a range of adverse effects on health with an increased risk of cardio-vascular diseases in the first line. However, to date, convincing evidence for a strong association between work stress and incident Type 2 diabetes mellitus is missing.

Risk of diabetes about 45 percent higher

As the team of scientists headed by Dr. Cornelia Huth and Prof. Karl-Heinz Ladwig has now discovered that individuals who are under a high level of pressure at work and at the same time perceive little control over the activities they perform face an about 45 percent higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who are subjected to less stress at their workplace.

Full story of work stress and diabetes at Science Daily