It has been reported that a board of health experts from the American Heart Association has released a research statement which said depression considerably raised the risk of heart disease in young women who were moderately to severely depressed when compared to women who were mentally healthy. It was earlier this year when the AHA stated that depression needed to be added as a factor for heart disease just like diabetes and smoking.
Dr. Amit Shah, who is a professor of epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, and the top author of the research report, explained that he felt a duty to study the connection between heart disease mortality and depression after detecting that young women appeared to be more susceptible to the mental illness and also other mental health disorders.
Dr. Shah explained that he and his team became apprehensive when they discovered a strange occurrence happening with young females. It was that once they suffered heart attacks, they were in fact more likely to die after the heart attack than males the same age who had also went through heart attacks. The study also showed that depression considerably raised the risk of heart disease in young women who are moderately to severely depressed when compared to women who were mentally healthy.
For the AHA study, the scientists interviewed over 3,230 people who had either suspected or known heart disease. The applicants had an average age of 63 years and nearly 35 percent of the group was comprised of women. Each contributor filled out a survey which gauged their depressive symptoms, and the researchers trailed the volunteers for almost three years.
When the research study ended, the scientists came to a shocking deduction: women who were age 55 or younger were more than two times as likely to have suffered a heart attack, been diagnosed with heart disease, had some sort of procedure to open up arteries or even to have died from a heart attack if they had suffered from moderate to severe depression.
However men under the age of 55 did not have any kind of parallel link between heart disease mortality and depression, and neither did older age women. The researchers are working on intensifying their studies to find out just why such differences are present, especially between women and men.
It is believed that young women who suffer from depression and even more so in young females who have depression along with a history of abuse or trauma may have physical reactions to stress which are more severe than normal, stated Dr. Shah. So that means this could be linked with some major biological differences between women and men that has yet to be figured out.
Dr. Shah exclaimed that he hoped the study would be able to help both patients and doctors understand the major health risks linked to depression and encourage them to take precautionary measures in order to attempt warding off the beginning of heart disease.
The doctor said that it was safe to say that people, particularly young women who are suffering from depression, need to as conscientious as possible about heart health and live a healthy lifestyle. He added that there definitely has to be more research done to see if more individuals need to screened for depression. Biological factors must be looked at more closely.
Once that has been learned, more specific interventions can be introduced to help avert death, especially unpredictable death in young women. Hopefully this can happen, because of the research in the report from the AHA. It stated that depression considerably lifted the risk of heart disease in young women who were moderately to severely depressed when compared to women who were mentally healthy.
By Kimberly Ruble