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Cortisol tests may show link between CAD and depression

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

There is a long history linking depression and poor health outcomes. The World Health Organization released a study in 2007 saying that depression has a stronger impact on overall health than angina, arthritis, asthma or diabetes.

Links between coronary artery disease and major depression can be modest, but they grow stronger over the course of a lifetime, according to new research on twins appearing in Archives of General Psychiatry.

The authors note that whether inflammation is cause or effect is unclear. They point out that high cortisol levels, inflammation and changes in blood platelet function are all associated with depression and these may increase risk for coronary artery disease.

Cortisol testing is often used to detect Addison disease, where the adrenal gland does not produce enough of the hormone. There has been some evidence that high cortisol levels may be associated with vascular disease.

Inflammation, which can be detected by CRP testing, often rises as the body responds to injury and stress. Chronic inflammation has been linked to a host of systemic diseases, from Alzheimer's and stroke to cancer and heart disease.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19308091-ADNFCR

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