Women’s heart disease risk rises with depression

MIDDLE-AGED women with depression are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease compared with women who do not have depression, a study shows.

US researchers used three questions to measure depression at baseline in around 1500 women and prospectively assessed their cardiovascular risk factors and coronary heart disease (CHD) after five years.

They found 12% of women who gave responses positive for depression had self-reported CHD after five years, compared with only 6.5% of women without positive depression responses.

Even among women with no CHD at baseline, 10% with depression developed CHD after five years compared with only 2% of women who were not depressed.

The study reports no statistical differences in CHD development among the women – mean age 61 years – related to use or non-use of hormone or oestrogen therapy.

Professor Gavin Andrews, from the school of psychiatry at the University of NSW, said