Severe depression can lead to heart problems.
A new study has shown that very bad depression can break a healthy woman’s heart.
Depression can be common after suffering a heart attack or stroke, which sometimes leads to worsening the condition. However, researchers at Columbia University have found that depression may actually lead to heart disease.
Over 63,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study were tracked from 1992 to 2004. None of the women in the study had heart disease, but eight percent were shown to have signs of serious depression.
Those depressed women were twice as more likely to suffer sudden cardiac death, as well as an increased risk of death from other heart diseases.
Scientists found that the use of antidepressants seemed closely linked to sudden cardiac death. It also showed that the more severe a woman’s depression symptoms were, the more likely she was to suffer from traditional heart risk factors.
Lead researcher Dr. William Whang suggested this might mean that women on antidepressants were more severely depressed, but stated that the study needed more research in order to conclude that.
Researchers say that they may need to study properly treating depression to see if it lowers the risk of sudden cardiac death.
This study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.