Friday, 7 January 2011

Depression, Diabetes, Heart Disease Linked

Depression, Diabetes, Heart Disease Linked

Women with depression and diabetes have a higher risk than others of death from heart disease, a six-year study found, U.S. researchers say.

Study leader An Pan of the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and colleagues said the study indicated women with depression had a 44 percent increased risk of death, those with diabetes had a 35 percent increased risk of death and those with both conditions had approximately twice the risk of death -- vs. women who had neither condition.

The study, published in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found when considering only deaths from cardiovascular disease, women with diabetes had a 67 percent increased risk, women with depression had a 37 percent increased risk and women with both had a 2.7-fold increased risk.

"The underlying mechanisms of the increased mortality risk associated with depression in patients with diabetes remains to be elucidated," the study authors say in a statement.

However, the researchers suggest diabetes and depression links to unhealthy behaviors such as smoking, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle and noted depression could trigger changes in the nervous system that affect the heart adversely.

Pan and colleagues studied participants in the Nurses' Health Study -- 78,282 women ages 54-79 at study start -- 4,654 of whom died, including 979 who died from cardiovascular disease, during the six years.

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