October 12, 2023

Study shows link between death from heart disease and depression

Editor's Note

A new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that adults with moderate to severe depressive symptoms have a higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease compared to those without depressive symptoms. The investigative study, titled "Depressive Symptoms and Mortality Among US Adults," was published by JAMA Network on October 9.

The study used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2005 to 2018. It included 23,694 participants aged 20 and older (mean age 44.7). Findings include:

  • Mild depressive symptoms were found in 14.9% of participants, while moderate to severe depressive symptoms were seen in 7.2%.
  • Approximately 11.0% to 16.1% of the associations between depression and mortality could be explained by lifestyle factors.

Addressing depressive symptoms and associated risk factors could help reduce the burden of depression and its impact on mortality, the researchers found, although the most significant driver of depression-related mortality is income inequality, according to the data.

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