Depression + Heart Disease: Lethal Combo

PARIS, Sept. 17 (UPI) — Depression and heart disease may be a lethal combination, much more so than having either of these conditions in isolation, a French researcher said.

Hermann Nabi of Institut National de la Sante et de la Recherche Medicale in France finds those with coronary heart disease alone were 67 percent more likely to die of all causes, while those who were depressed, but otherwise healthy, were twice as likely to do so as those who had neither condition.

However, the study, published in the journal Heart, finds depressed people with heart disease were almost five times as likely as their mentally and physically healthy peers to die.

Taking into account factors such as age and sex, the combination of depression and heart disease tripled the risk of death from all causes and quadrupled the risk of dying from a heart attack/stroke.

“The biological explanations for the impact of depression on the risk of death are still not clear, but may involve stimulating the inflammatory process/clot formation or altering cellular responses/metabolism of blood fats,” corresponding author Nabi says in a statement. “Behavioral factors might also play a part.”

Nabi and colleagues tracked the mental and physical health for an average of five-and-a-half years of about 6,000 middle-aged adults who were among 10,000 participants in the British Whitehall II study to evaluate the long-term health impact of social and economic factors.

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