A history of depression in middle-aged females increases the risk of heart disease, according to new findings. The research reiterates the notion that depression fuels heart problems.
The study tracked 1,100 women over the course of 10 years. The researchers found that depression is a significant risk factor for heart disease.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among men and women. The CDC reports it is responsible for every one in four deaths.
Study author Dr. Xuezhi Jiang said, “Once we added depression… with the other well-known risk factors for coronary artery disease, depression was the only one to stand out. This is kind of surprising.”
Simon Rego, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, added, “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.”
Depression can negatively impact one’s health as the affected person starts neglecting self-care and healthy lifestyle habits, while potentially engaging in risky behaviors such as increased alcohol and drug use.