Daily Health Headlines

Depression Can Fuel Heart Disease in Midlife Women: Study

👤by Maureen Salamon 0 comments 🕔Thursday, October 6th, 2016

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women in midlife with a history of depression appear at markedly greater risk of suffering from heart disease, new research suggests.

The finding seems to reinforce the well-known link between depression and heart troubles, but it doesn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

Tracking about 1,100 women over 10 years, researchers found that depression was the only significant risk factor for coronary artery disease in women younger than 65 who had no history of heart ailments at the beginning of the study.

In women over age 65, however, age was identified as the only significant predictor for heart disease, the investigators found.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, responsible for one in four deaths each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Once we added depression... with the other well-known risk factors for coronary artery disease, depression was the only one to stand out" in women under 65, said study author Dr. Xuezhi Jiang, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Reading Hospital in Reading, Pa. "This is kind of surprising."

The study was scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the North American Menopause Society's annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

Jiang and his team tracked 1,084 women who received routine mammogram screenings at a radiology facility starting in 2004. Their average age was 55. Each completed a depression questionnaire with three questions inquiring about feeling sad or depressed; helpless; or downhearted and blue.

Other health information was also taken, including participants' heart disease risk factors, such as family history, smoking status, exercise levels, high blood pressure or diabetes. A similar depression questionnaire was mailed to each participant four times over the next 10 years to obtain follow-up information and any change in heart disease status.

Of the 1,030 women who had no history of heart disease at the start of the study, about 18 percent answered "yes" to at least one depression question. Of those women, 9 percent experienced one or more instances of cardiac disease over the next 10 years, compared to only 2 percent who reported "no" to feeling depressed.

Depression was the only significant risk factor associated with the development of heart disease in women under age 65. While scientists don't fully understand why depression increases heart disease risk, Jiang said, depression can increase the production of stress hormones in the body that may play a role in heart problems.

Simon Rego is chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. He said the new study highlights the serious impact a mental health condition can have on medical outcomes.

"The take-home message is to increase and broaden our mental health screening procedures in sites that do not traditionally screen for these conditions, in this case, women presenting for routine breast cancer screening," said Rego. He wasn't involved in the new research.

Rego noted that depression can have an impact on healthy behaviors, such as reducing exercise and activity levels, altering eating and sleeping habits, and increasing alcohol and drug use. He said additional research should determine whether such factors may also influence heart disease risks.

Research presented at scientific conferences typically hasn't been peer-reviewed or published and results are considered preliminary.

Article Credits / Source

Maureen Salamon / HealthDay

Maureen Salamon wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Xuezhi Jiang, M.D., ob/gyn, Reading Hospital, Reading, Pa., and assistant professor, obstetrics and gynecology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia; Simon A. Rego, Psy.D., chief psychologist, and associate clinical professor, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York City; abstract for presentation Oct. 5, 2016, North American Menopause Society, Orlando, Fla.

View More Articles From Maureen Salamon 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Depression Articles

Sunday's Time Change Offers a Mixed Bag

Sunday's Time Change Offers a Mixed Bag0

FRIDAY, Nov. 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- When the clocks are turned back one hour on Sunday morning, many will welcome the extra sleep. But some will feel sluggish for the first few days after the time change. And, new research indicates that ...

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)0

Seasonal affective disorder facts Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a kind of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as the hours of daylight grow shorter during the fall and winter months, but it may occur during the summer for some ...

Antidepressants (Depression Medications)

Antidepressants (Depression Medications)0

home / depression center / depression a-z list / antidepressants index / antidepressants (depression medications) drug monograph Pharmacy Author: Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD Omudhome Ogbru, PharmDDr. Ogbru ...

'The Pill' May Raise Depression Risk

'The Pill' May Raise Depression Risk0

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Women who use hormonal methods for birth control, such as "the pill," may have a slightly higher risk of developing depression -- and teenagers may be most vulnerable, a large study ...

Always Feeling Lonely? Maybe It's in Your DNA

Always Feeling Lonely? Maybe It's in Your DNA0

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- People with a lifelong inclination towards loneliness can probably place at least some of the blame on their genes, a large analysis suggests. The finding stems from a study involving nearly 11,000 men ...

View More Depression Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!