Depression Raises Men's Risk of Heart Problems
A study reported in Circulation states that depression may raisethe risk of heart disease in men. The study included nearly 600 menand found that men with depression were about 50% more likely todevelop coronary heart disease (CHD) within 5 years than menwithout depression. This study bolsters prior observational studiesthat have linked depression with heart disease. It found thatdepressed men tended to have high blood levels of proinflammatorycompounds strongly associated with increased cardiovascularrisk. Researchers said that this is the first study that investigatedthe contribution of both depression and inflammatory markers toCHD, stating that previous reports investigating the connection hadproduced conflicting results.
This study, they said, investigated a wide range of inflammatorymarkers. They noted that the average blood level of the marker Creactiveprotein was 46% higher in depressed men than in nondepressedmen. The study also found that levels of the inflammatorymarkers interleukin-6 and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were an average of 16% and 10% higher, respectively, indepressed men. Researchers say this is the first study to identify arelation between ICAM-1 and depression in otherwise healthy men.It suggests that depression is associated with dysfunction of theendothelium—a layer of cells that line artery walls—in people otherwisefree of CHD.