Severe depression can trigger heart attacks in womenMarch 10th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, March 10 (IANS) Severe depression among relatively healthy women can trigger heart attacks, often with a fatal outcome, according to a new study.
“It’s important for women with depression to be aware of the possible association between depression and heart disease, and work with their healthcare providers to manage their risk for coronary heart disease,” said William Whang, cardiologist at Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC) and lead investigator of the study.
The links between depressive symptoms and cardiac events were not always clear because they were mixed up with other risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking, said the researchers.
Whang and colleagues studied 63,469 women from the Nurses Health Study who had no evidence of prior heart disease or stroke.
The study found that women with more severe depressive symptoms or those who reported taking anti-depressants were at a higher risk for sudden cardiac death (SCD) and fatal coronary heart disease (CHD).
In particular, women with clinical depression were more than twice as likely to experience sudden cardiac death. Surprisingly, this risk was associated more strongly with anti-depressant use than with depressive symptoms, said a CUMC statement.
These findings are scheduled for publication in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Tags: anti depressants, cardiac events, cardiologist, clinical depression, columbia university medical, coronary heart disease, cumc, depressive symptoms, disease chd, fatal outcome, health study, heart attacks in women, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, nurses health, possible association, severe depression, sudden cardiac death, university medical centre, whang