Depression beats the heart like obesity and cholesterol

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Depression beats the heart like obesity and cholesterol


Depression carries a similar risk of cardiovascular disease in men, such as high cholesterol or obesity. This is what researchers report in a current study that was published in the specialist magazine ‘Atherosclerosis’.



Depression


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Depression

According to the World Health Organization WHO, 350 million people worldwide suffer from it depressions. However, the disease not only affects the mental state to a considerable extent, it can also affect physical processes. “There is now little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases,” explains Karl-Heinz Ladwig. He is a professor of psychosomatic medicine at the Technical University of Munich and a scientist at the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).

“The question is rather: How does depression relate to other risk factors such as smoking, high cholesterol levels, obesity and high blood pressure – what weighs how heavy.” To investigate this question, Ladwig and his team examined the data of 3,428 male patients aged between 45 and 74 and observed their progress over a period of ten years.

Depression in third place

In their studies, the scientists compared depression with the big four risk factors. “Our research shows that the risk of fatal cardiovascular disease as a result of depression is almost as high as with too high cholesterol or obesity, ”summarizes Ladwig. According to the results, only high blood pressure and smoking are associated with a higher risk.

Looking at the population, the proportion of cardiovascular deaths caused by depression is around 15 percent. “This is comparable to the other risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking,” says Ladwig. Here the proportion ranges from 8.4 to 21.4 percent. Accordingly, Ladwig suggests consequences here: “In high-risk patients, the diagnostic clarification of depression as a concomitant disease should become standard. One could capture that with simple means. ”

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