Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Depression Will Lead to Heart Disease For Women!

Diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol and smoking have long been regarded as culprits that cause heart disease. Depression, which is common for patients after heart attack or stroke, and would probably worsen these patients’ outcomes, could simply break a healthy woman's heart silently.

A study by researchers from Columbia University reported that new evidence has been gathered to show depression can certainly lead to heart disease for women. The findings of the 12-year study were published on March 9, 2009 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

In the study, 63,000 women from the long-running Nurses' Health Study were tracked between 1992 and 2004. When the study began, there was no sign of heart disease among all participants except nearly 8 percent of them had evidence of serious depression.

Those women with depression were more than twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death, which is caused by an irregular heartbeat. Furthermore, they had a smaller increased risk of death from other form of heart disease.

The researchers were also surprised to note that sudden cardiac death seemed more closely related to the antidepressant use than with the depression symptoms the women had. This might imply that women who were prescribed with antidepressants were the most seriously depressed, though such finding would still require more research to confirm.

In fact, the newer antidepressants frequently used now had not been reported to cause a risk of irregular heartbeat. To the contrary, some research has even suggested having some sort of protection. Nevertheless, the researchers argue that the current finding does add to the growing evidence that depression could be an independent risk factor for heart disease.

To achieve heart disease prevention for depressed women, it is suggested that further study should be carried out to test whether appropriate treatment would lower the risk of getting heart disease for those depressed women.

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