New York: Women who suffer from clinical depression are more than twice as likely to die of a heart attack
A US study of more than 63,000 women suggested this could be because unhappy women are more likely to smoke, have high blood pressure and eat unhealthily.
The more depressed a woman is, the higher her risk of death from a sudden heart attack or chronic heart disease.
The most severe type of depression, clinical depression, is associated with a more than 100 per cent increased risk of a sudden cardiac death. The risk was even higher among women on antidepressant drugs – but this may be because these medicines are prescribed to the most depressed women.
Study leader Dr William Whang, of Columbia University, said: “It’s important for women with depression to be aware of the possible association with heart disease, and work with their healthcare providers to manage their risk for coronary heart disease.
“A significant part of the heightened risk for cardiac events seems to be explained by the fact that coronary heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, elevated cholesterol, and smoking were more common among women with more severe depressive symptoms.’
In the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dr Sanjiv Narayan commented: “These data indicate the link between depression and serious heart rhythm problems may be more complex than previously thought. It raises the question of whether this association may have something to do with the antidepressant drugs used to treat depression.’