Heart attack risk for women with depression

Young women with depression are twice as likely to have a heart attack or die of heart disease, a new US study has found.
elderly woman holding chest, stock image

Researchers from Emory University in Atlanta looked at 3,237 patients with suspected or established heart disease scheduled for coronary angiography and found that women 55 years or younger with moderate or severe depression were 2.17 times more likely to suffer a heart attack, die or heart disease or require an artery-opening procedure.

Figures show that heart disease is the single biggest killer of Australian women. The National Heart Foundation of Australia says women are almost three times more likely to die of it than breast cancer, while one in five Australian women will experience depression at some stage of their lives, according to beyondblue.

Although depression has previously been identified as a risk factor for heart disease, this new study, which was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, shows there is a strong connection between the two.

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