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Anti-depressant drugs may help reduce risk of heart disease

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

Depression can be a difficult disease to live with for many reasons, but the increased risk of heart disease associated with the condition can be the most deadly. But a new study has found that certain anti-depressant drugs, in addition to boosting mood, may also lower patients' risk of heart disease.

Researchers at Loyola Marymount College found that certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs already used to treat depression also work to keep blood platelets from sticking together and forming clots in the heart.

The study's lead author, Evangelos Litinas, said in the report that the findings should come as good news for patients already taking SSRIs to treat their depression.

“There is clear evidence that depressed patients have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and we want to eliminate that." He said. "Since depression can be treated with an SSRI, maybe the cardiovascular disease risk can also be decreased."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that about 15 percent of people will be told by a doctor at some point in their lives that they have depression, and ranks heart disease as the number one killer in the U.S.

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