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Depression Linked to Heart Risk

separator Women who are past menopause and are suffering from depression are at increased risk of dying of heart disease, even if they are otherwise physically healthy. The study looked at 93,676 women who were 50 and older. Nearly 16 percent of them had symptoms of depression. The women who were depressed were 50 percent more likely to have a heart-related death.

Researchers aren’t sure how depression and heart disease are linked. Some think that increased levels of stress hormones can cause arteries to constrict and become blocked. It’s also possible that there could be a link because people who are depressed tend to exercise less often.

Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to seek treatment if you are suffering from depression. To find out more about depression in older people, read the article from the May/June issue of our Senior Health e-magazine.

Archives of Internal Medicine, 9 February 2004.
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