Depressed people are more likely to have stroke or heart disease

Researchers at the University of Cambridge conducted a 10-year study that found that people who suffer from depression are more likely to have heart disease or stroke than those who are psychologically stable.

People with symptoms of depression are at greater risk of developing heart disease and stroke than those without, says a study by Cambridge University researchers, published on 15 December in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The scientists analyzed the medical records of more than half a million people who have never had heart problems before. Study participants were given scores based on their responses to questions assessing their mood and any manifestations of depression they had experienced in the past two weeks. These scores were divided into five groups according to the increasing severity of symptoms.

The importance of stability

More than ten years later, researchers found that people with higher scores were more likely to have since suffered heart disease or stroke.

Thus, 21 cases of heart disease and 15 strokes were found in the 1,000 individuals with the highest scores, and only 14 cases of heart disease and ten strokes in the group with the lowest scores. These data were obtained from information collected from 401,219 participants.

Scientists have not yet established whether the depression factor was random in these data.

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