Depression, a Major Risk for Cardiovascular & Heart Disease
According to a new study published in the Journal Atherosclerosis depression is as big a risk for cardiovascular disease in men as high cholesterol and obesity,
“There is little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases,” explained researcher Karl-Heinz Ladwig. “The question now is: What is the relationship between depression and other risk factors like tobacco smoke, high cholesterol levels, obesity or hypertension — how big a role does each factor play?”
The Big Q: How big a roll dose each factor play?
The Big A: German researchers analyzed data from 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74 years over a period of 10 years. They compared the impact of depression with the 4 major risk factors.
“Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity,” Prof. Ladwig said.
Only high blood pressure and smoking were found to be associated with a greater risk.
The researchers came to the conclusion that depression accounts for roughly 15% of deaths from cardiovascular disease. “That is comparable to the other risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking,” Prof. Ladwig states. These factors cause 8.4 to 21.4% of the cardiovascular deaths.
Cardiovascular disease is the # 1 killer in the US and throughout the world, and accounts for nearly 33% of the deaths in America.
Depression is also prevalent in the US, affecting approximately 14.8-M Americans each year. Studies have shown that depression raises the risk of heart attack 4X.
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