Acquire the license to the best health content in the world
Contact Us

Depression in Women Can Hurt the Heart

Study links it to increased risk of death in women with cardiovascular disease

THURSDAY, March 4, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Women with coronary artery disease who show signs of depression are twice as likely to die as women with coronary artery disease who have no symptoms of depression, says a Duke University Medical Center study.

The study included 265 women admitted to Duke University Hospital for a diagnostic cardiac catheterization. The women were given the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), a standard questionnaire used to help diagnose symptoms of depression. They were followed for up to 3.5 years, with a median follow-up of 1.8 years.

During the follow-up period, 31 (12 percent) of the women died. The Duke researchers compared the BCI scores of the women who died to those of the surviving women. They found women with a BDI score of 12 (which represents the top 25 percentile in terms of symptoms of depression) were twice as likely to have died compared to women with a BDI score of 4 (the bottom 25 percentile).

The study was to be presented March 3 at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society in Orlando.

"In our study, when we statistically controlled for the effects of age, as well as the beating capacity of the heart, depressive symptoms still remained an independent predictor of mortality," Duke psychologist Anastasia Georgiades says in a prepared statement.

"The key question that still remains to be answered is whether or not depression actually can lead to worse outcomes, or whether depression is an indicator, or marker, for some other risk factor," Georgiades says.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about depression.

SOURCE: Duke University, news release, March 3, 2004
Consumer News