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Anxiety, depression: this impact on cardiovascular risk in women identified by a study

  • April 2, 2024
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“THE cardiovascular illnesses or cardio-neurovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in the world, the second in France after cancer. noted the Ministry of Labor, Health and Solidarity. Among the risk factors, we note certain habits such as smoking, diabetessedentary lifestyle or even food. But researchers have made the link between the mental health of women under 50 and cardiovascular risk.

Indeed, according to researchers at the University of Padua in Italy, anxiety or the Depression could accelerate the development of cardiovascular risk factors in women under 50 years of age. Their results have not yet been published in a scientific journal, but were presented during the session Annual Scientific Award of the American College of Cardiology.

Heart disease: women suffering from anxiety and depression may be at greater risk

To arrive at these results, the researchers used data from the Mass General Brigham Biobank, a health system research program in the United States. In total, this represented a panel of 71,214 people. The researchers followed their health for 10 years. “People with heart disease or who were diagnosed with anxiety or depression after the start of the study were excluded”they note in the press release.

Over the 10 years of follow-up, the authors noted that 38% of the participants had developed certain risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressureand cholesterol level high or even diabetes. But the specialists found that people who had suffered from anxiety or depression before the study were “about 55% more likely to develop one or more of these risk factors than people without anxiety or depression.”

Experts point out that women under 50 who have suffered from these mental health disorders “were nearly twice as likely to develop cardiovascular risk factors as any other group.” After analyzing areas of the brain linked to stress using brain imaging, researchers noticed that women suffering from depression or anxiety had greater neuronal activity.

Heart health: researchers call for screening of women suffering from depression or anxiety

In the press release, the researchers specify that the incidence of cardiovascular diseases is often low, in particular due to the protective effects of estrogens in this group. But Dr. Giovanni Civieri, a cardiologist and researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, says that “if a younger woman is suffering from depression or anxiety, we should start screening for cardiovascular risk factors to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease.” Also, the latter specifies that “once a young woman suffers from depression or anxiety, her absolute risk is comparable to that of a young man”.

This is not the first time that the links between cardiovascular risks and mental health have been highlighted by a study. Last March, a Japanese study relayed by Current wife noted that women suffering from depression may face increased cardiovascular risk compared to men.

Sources :

  • For Younger Women, Mental Health Now May Predict Heart Health Later – American College of Cardiology
  • Ministry of Labor, Health and Solidarity – Cardiovascular diseases
author avatar
Louis Tardy