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Depression may increase heart failure risk by 40%

Zee Media Bureau/Salome Phelamei

Washington: A Norwegian study has now linked depression to heart failure.

The research, presented Friday at the EuroHeartCare 2014 conference in Stavanger, Norway, says moderate to severe depression increases the risk of heart failure by 40%.

By examining almost 63,000 Norwegians, researchers also found that mild depression was linked to a 5% increase in the risk of heart failure in the future.

“We found a dose response relationship between depressive symptoms and the risk of developing heart failure. That means that the more depressed you feel, the more you are at risk,” said Ms Lise Tuset Gustad, first author of the study and an intensive care nurse at Levanger Hospital in Norway.

Researchers collected the data during the second wave of a large epidemiological study in Nord-Trondelag county, Norway, called the Nord-Trondelag Health Study (HUNT study). Nearly 63 000 of the 97 000 citizens in the county agreed to take part.

When the second wave of the HUNT study began in 1995, information was collected including body mass index, physical activity, tobacco smoking habits and blood pressure.

Using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, depression was assessed and ranked for severity .

Every Norwegian citizen receives a unique 11 digit number at birth which is used at hospitals and the National Cause of Death Registry.

The researchers used this number to track which patients were hospitalised with heart failure or died from heart failure during the 11 year study.

During the study period nearly 1,500 people developed heart failure.

Depression is a mood disorder causing persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It can be treated easily in the early stages. Many people even don't need medication, but by talking to a professional can be helpful.

The study highlights the importance of treating depression, otherwise, it can have fatal consequences for the heart health.

With Agency Inputs

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