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Depression may increase risk of cardiovascular death

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Young people who have experienced symptoms of depression may benefit from cholesterol testing, as new research indicates that these individuals are significantly more likely to suffer from cardiovascular complications.

A team of investigators from Emory University showed that women with a history of depression are 14 times more likely to die from an ischemic heart attack. Furthermore, their chances of dying from heart disease were three times higher. For men, depression increased the risk of heart attack 3.5 times and death from heart disease was 2.4 times more likely.

"We're finding that depression is a remarkable risk factor for heart disease in young people," said Viola Vaccarino, chair of Emory's School of Public Health. "Among women, depression appears to be more important than traditional risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, obesity and diabetes which are not common in young women."

Treating the symptoms of depression with medications may address the problem, the researchers said their study could not assess this due to the fact that only 6 percent of participants with depression or a history of suicide attempts reported taking antidepressants.

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