According to the World Health Organization WHO, 350 million people worldwide are affected by depression.
But the mental state is not all that is affected: depression can also compromise the body.
“Today there is little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases,” explains one researcher.
“The question now is: What is the relationship between depression and other risk factors like tobacco smoke, high cholesterol levels, obesity or hypertension – how big a role does each factor play?”
In order to examine this question, researchers analyzed data from 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74 years and observed their development over a period of ten years.
In their analyses, the scientists compared the impact of depression with the five major risk factors high cholesterol levels, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes.
The results are published in the journal Atherosclerosis.
“Our study shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity,” one author summarizes.
Viewed across men, a depressive disorder had been diagnosed in roughly 15 % of the cardiovascular deaths.
For obesity and diabetes, this number is below 10 %, for smoking it is around 17 %. The one factor that figures in considerably higher is high blood pressure with almost 30 %.
News source: Technical University of Munich. The content is edited for length and style purposes.
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