Depression May Raise Heart Attack Risk

Posted on Dec. 21, 2011, 6 a.m. in Depression Cardio-Vascular
Depression May Raise Heart Attack Risk

Depression may have more far-reaching consequences than previously believed. Recent data suggests that individuals who suffer from a mood disorder could be twice as likely to have a heart attack compared to individuals who are not depressed. Simon Bacon, from Concordia University (Canada), and colleagues have elucidated a possible mechanism for this association.  The team enrolled 886 men and women, average age 60 years, 5% of whom were diagnosed with a major depressive disorder. All subjects were asked to undergo a stress test after which their heart rate and blood pressure were recorded. Recovery heart rates and blood pressure levels were compared between depressed and non-depressed individuals.  The team found that depressed individuals have a slower recovery time after exercise compared to those who are non-depressed.  In that their further analyses yielded the finding that a dysfunctional biological stress system affects depressed individuals, the study authors warn of the importance of testing for cardiovascular disease among people suffering from major depression.

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Gordon JL, Ditto B, Lavoie KL, Pelletier R, Campbell TS, Arsenault A, Bacon SL.  “The effect of major depression on postexercise cardiovascular recovery.”  Psychophysiology. 2011 Nov;48(11):1605-10.

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