Diabetes and depression: a weighty issue

The links between prediabetes and depression are well established, now a new study at the University of Sydney is looking at a novel way of helping people treat both conditions at the same time.

Dr Yorgi Mavros believes resistance training, which some people might know as weight training, might be a good way for older Australians both to get active and manage depression and stop or slow the progression of type 2 diabetes.

“We know people with prediabetes and depression are six times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within five years than people without prediabetes and depression,” Dr Mavros said.

“I’m hoping to find a way of treating both conditions at the same time. In the past we’ve seen multiple trials looking at the effectiveness of resistance training for people with prediabetes and for depression, but they’ve never been studied together.”

Dr Mavros said it was important people understood the range of options available for resistance training.

“It isn’t just about trying to pump yourself up to Arnold Schwarzenegger size,” he said.

“What is important is that these exercises are done at enough intensity to achieve a health benefit. “For some older people with mobility issues, or who find aerobic exercise like walking difficult or painful, this could be an excellent way of increasing physical activity.”

Dr Mavros is currently seeking participants in the trial. If you’re interested in taking part, you can find out more here.