Antidepressant medication use, weight gain, and risk of type 2 diabetes: A population-based study

Mika Kivimäki, Mark Hamer, G. David Batty, John R. Geddes, Adam G. Tabak, Jaana Pentti, Marianna Virtanen, Jussi Vahtera

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126 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVE - To examine antidepressant medication use as a risk factor for type 2 diabetes and weight gain. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - A series of nested studies within a prospective cohort of 151,347 working-aged men and women including 9,197 participants with continuing antidepressant medication, 224 with severe depression, and 851 with incident type 2 diabetes during a mean follow-up of 4.8 years, as indicated by national health and prescription registers (the Public Sector study, Finland 1995-2005). RESULTS - In the first analysis, the case subjects were individuals with incident type 2 diabetes compared with matched diabetes-free control subjects. Antidepressant use of ≥200 defined daily doses was associated with a doubling of diabetes risk in both participants with no indication of severe depression (odds ratio 1.93 [95% CI 1.48-2.51]) and participants with severe depression (2.65 [1.31-5.39]). In further analyses, the exposed group was antidepressant users and the reference group was nonusers matched for depression-related characteristics. The 5-year absolute risk of diabetes was 1.1% for nonusers, 1.7% for individuals treated with 200-399 defined daily doses a year, and 2.3% for those with ≥400 defined daily doses (Ptrend<0.0001). An average self-reported weight gain, based on repeated surveys, was 1.4 kg (2.5%) among nonusers and 2.5 kg (4.3%) among users of ≥200 defined daily doses (Ptrend<0.0001). Separate analyses for tricyclic antidepressants and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors replicated these findings. CONCLUSIONS - In these data, continuing use of antidepressant medication was associated with an increased relative risk of type 2 diabetes, although the elevation in absolute risk was modest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2611-2616
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing

Cite this

Kivimäki, M., Hamer, M., Batty, G. D., Geddes, J. R., Tabak, A. G., Pentti, J., Virtanen, M., & Vahtera, J. (2010). Antidepressant medication use, weight gain, and risk of type 2 diabetes: A population-based study. Diabetes care, 33(12), 2611-2616.