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Depression May Be Linked To Atrial Fibrillation

11 months, 3 weeks ago

2195  0
Posted on Apr 04, 2018, 10 p.m.

Depression has been shown in a new study to be linked with increased risk of atrial fibrillation which is a heart rhythm disorder that can cause stroke and clot formation.


Findings come from the national Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis study or MESA for short, which involved over 6,600 participants who were followed for a median of 13 years from various ethnic groups with the average age of 62 who had no known heart disease at the start of the study.  A link between 2 disorders is suggested by this study, warranting further research and a greater awareness among clinicians and patients alike.


Participants taking medication for depression as well as the participants with the highest scores when screened for depression were found to be 30% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation as compared to participants who were not taking antidepressant medications and those who had normal depression test scores.


Just how depression disrupts the heart is not fully understood, it is theorized that increased inflammation and elevated levels of certain hormones play roles, adding to the theory of mental health and heart health being closely linked, supporting prior studies conducted demonstrating associations between heart disease and depression.


Researchers say that their work has helped to identified a large portion of the population who may be at risk for developing atrial fibrillation which may benefit from targeted efforts to prevent arrhythmia. Noting that if findings are confirmed in future studies, additional studies will be required to determine if treating depression will lower the risk for atrial fibrillation.


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