Depressed middle-aged women at higher risk of heart attack
A new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association Women concludes that women who 55 years old and younger are more than twice as likely to suffer from a heart attack if they have moderate or severe depression.
Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta examined 3,235 people with known or suspected heart disease who were scheduled to have a coronary angiography. The participants were also assessed for symptoms of depression. Follow-up occurred every year for three years.
Results showed that in women aged 55 and younger, for every one point increase in depression symptoms, there was an associated seven percent increase in the presence of heart disease. If women in that age group had moderate or severe depression, they were 2.17 times more likely to suffer a heart attack, die of heart disease, or require an artery-opening procedure during the follow-up time. In addition, women who had moderate to severe depression were 2.45 times more likely to die from any cause during the follow-up period.
The researchers pointed out that the results show why it's important for younger women to take depression seriously.