Women 55 & Younger 2x as Likely to Suffer a Heart Attack if Depressed

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Women  55 and younger are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, die or require artery-opening procedures if they’re moderately or severely depressed, according to new research in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

“All people, and especially younger women, need to take depression very seriously,” Shah said. “Depression itself is a reason to take action, but knowing that it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and death should motivate people to seek help.”

“Providers need to ask more questions. They need to be aware that young women are especially vulnerable to depression, and that depression may increase the risk to their heart,” Shah said.

“Although the risks and benefits of routine screening for depression are still unclear, our study suggests that young women may benefit for special consideration” remarked Viola Vaccarino, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and Wilton Looney Chair of Epidemiology at Emory University. “Unfortunately, this group has largely been understudied before.”

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