Anger can tax your heart and elevate your blood pressure. But new research is showing that depression can be as devastating to your heart as high cholesterol. Depression affects 19 million Americans or 9.5% of the population in any given year. So it is staggering to think of the ramification this can have on the heart health of these individuals.
This new study from researchers in Germany is based on the examination of 3,428 people. There ages ranged from between 45 to 74. It found that depression is just as much of a risk factor for death from a cardiovascular event then other risk factors such as diabetes and obesity to name a few.
Depression was determined to be a factor in 15 percent of cardiovascular deaths. This compared to 8 to 21 percent for high cholesterol, and just 5 to 8 percent for diabetes. Only smoking and high blood pressure, at 17 to 20 percent and 30 to 40 percent respectively, ranked higher than depression.
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“That’s why it’s important not only for people with cardiovascular risk factors to take care of their mental health,” says May, “but also for people with depression to take care of their hearts. These conditions have a compounding effect,” she says, “and they should all be treated—whether you have one risk factor or five.”
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