This is the conclusion of a recent study that investigated the association between depression and heart disease. The study began with 22,666 participants without heart disease. Each participant was evaluated for depression by completing a depression screening questionnaire. The average age of participants at the beginning of the study (baseline) was about 63years.
The researchers gathered information on risk factors for heart disease that included high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. Participants were interviewed at the beginning of the study and 5 and 7 years later. Cardiovascular events included heart attack, stroke, and heart disease-related death.
Major findings of the study were:
- Depressed participants were 30% more likely to die as a result of heart disease
- Depressed participants had a 26% increase in the risk of stroke
The researchers concluded that ongoing depression has a significant effect on stroke and dying from heart disease. The risk of stroke and heart disease decreased in participants who were successfully treated for depression. This suggests that improved screening and treatment for depression will decrease your risk of stroke and dying from heart disease.
If you or someone you know is depressed or at risk for depression, the best way to lower your risk of heart disease is to seek appropriate treatment. Talk to your doctor about the potential benefits of therapy or anti-depressant medications.
It is also important to maintain your overall health.
Here are some tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a heart-healthy diet including fish
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Read the original article: Elucidating the Association Between Depressive Symptoms, Coronary Heart Disease, and Stroke in Black and White Adults
- Learn about 5 Tips to Improve Your Cardiovacular Health
- Learn more about Talking With Your Cardiologist
- Subscribe to our blog to learn more about heart health