View Full Version : Depression is Hard on the Heart

12-23-05, 11:38 PM
(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- A new study shows depression can be more harmful than previously thought. A report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, indicates depression, especially in people ages 25 to 50, can lead to an increased risk for coronary heart disease.

Researchers identified nearly 45,000 people hospitalized for depression. A closer look at their medical records showed close to 2,000 of those developed heart disease. When extrapolating this information, researchers discovered people diagnosed with depression were 1.5-times more likely to develop heart disease than patients who were not depressed. In participants who were 25 to 39 years old, the risk was three-times greater. Patients who were 70 to 79 years old and diagnosed with depression showed no increased risk of coronary heart disease.

According to researchers, these findings point to a need for physicians to treat depression as an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease. They say maintenance therapy should be performed to prevent relapses and the recurrence of depression.

Investigators also point out these findings held true after accounting for socioeconomic status and geographic region. These findings, they write, agree with the findings of similar studies showing an association between coronary heart disease and depression.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, as well as in Sweden, where the study was conducted, and many other industrialized countries.