Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Depression is bad for your heart

Well, no kidding. But now investigators are uncovering the specifics as to why depression increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Maryland researchers checked out C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in nearly 7,000 people. They found a significant association between depression and CRP which is a measure of inflammation in the body and known to predict cardiovascular risk.

Treatment with antidepressants has been linked to a decreased risk of heart attack in depressed persons, in part scientists theorize because some of these medications have anti-platelet effects. This study suggests, however, a direct link between depression and low level inflammation in the body which in turn is detrimental to blood vessel health.

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