A new study shows that women who are depressed are more likely to develop heart failure A connection between depression and heart disease has been shown by many research studies. Now researchers at Emory University School of Medicine in the US have shown that women who are depressed are more likely to suffer from heart failure.
The study included 2000 participants - 1000 men and 1500 women - of average age 70. Just over five per cent of the men and nine per cent of the women were classed as depressed at the start of the study. Over a 14 year follow-up, 300 participants developed heart failure. This meant that 20 per cent of depressed women developed heart failure, compared to ten per cent of non-depressed women. There was no significant difference for the men.
We still don't understand why depression increases heart failure risk among women. It could be a direct biological effect on the brain, or perhaps some indirect effect, where women who are depressed act so as it increase their heart failure risk. The study suggests that it's important for physicans to check out a woman's psychological health when looking at the risk of heart disease.