Cardiovascular disease risk factors, depression symptoms and antidepressant medicine use in the Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) clinical trial of weight loss in diabetes

Diabetologia. 2010 Aug;53(8):1581-9. doi: 10.1007/s00125-010-1765-1. Epub 2010 Apr 28.


Aims/hypothesis: To determine the associations of baseline depression symptoms and use of antidepressant medicines (ADMs) with baseline cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in Look AHEAD (Action for Health in Diabetes) trial participants.

Methods: Look AHEAD participants (n = 5,145; age 58.7 +/- 6.8 years; BMI 35.8 +/- 5.8 kg/m(2)) were assessed for CVD risk factors (elevated HbA(1c) or insulin use, elevated BP or antihypertensive use, elevated lipid levels or lipid-lowering medication, current smoking, BMI > or = 30 kg/m(2), lower peak exercise capacity assessed as metabolic equivalents [METs], and ankle-brachial index <0.9 or >1.3). Participants also completed the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and reported their use of ADMs.

Results: Of the participants, 14.7% had BDI scores > or = 11, consistent with mild-moderate depression, and 16.5% took ADMs; 4.4% had both depression markers (i.e. elevated symptom scores and took ADMs). In logistic regression analyses of CVD risk (elevated risk factor or use of medication to control the risk factor), controlled for demographic factors, continuous BDI scores and ADM use were each independently associated with elevated BP (or medication), current smoking, BMI > or = 30 kg/m(2) and lower MET values. ADM use was also associated with elevated serum lipids or use of lipid-lowering medication.

Conclusions/interpretation: Among Look AHEAD participants, depression symptoms or ADM use on entry to the study were each independently associated with a wide range of CVD risk factors. Future research should assess the temporal dynamics of the relationships of depression symptoms and ADM use with CVD risk factors.

Trial registration: NCT00017953

Funding: This study is funded by the National Institutes of Health with additional support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ankle Brachial Index
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / therapy
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications
  • Patient Selection
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Loss


  • Antidepressive Agents
  • Blood Glucose

Associated data