Depression ‘linked to heart disease in women’

20 June 2014

Women up to the age of 55 are twice as likely to experience a heart attack, die or need artery-opening procedures if they’re depressed, suggests new research from the American Heart Association.

Dr Amit Shah, author of the study, said: “Women in this age group are also more likely to have depression, so this may be one of the ‘hidden’ risk factors that can help explain why women die at a disproportionately higher rate than men after a heart attack.”

To conduct the research, scientists assessed the symptoms of depression in 3,237 women with known or suspected heart disease. 

After a three-year follow-up period, the investigators found that each one-point increase in the symptoms of depression was linked to a seven per cent increase in the presence of heart disease in women aged 55 and below.

In addition, researchers discovered that this group of participants were 2.17 times more likely to suffer a heart attack and 2.45 more likely to die from any cause during the follow up period.

Dr Shah added: “Providers need to ask more questions. They need to be aware that young women are especially vulnerable to depression, and that depression may increase the risk to their heart.”

Posted by Edward Bartel

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