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Healthy Heart Reports

Depression And Heart Attacks

A study from Washington University in St. Louis shows that people who are depressed have higher blood levels of inflammatory markers that predict an increased risk for heat attacks.

Blood tests for inflammation are better predictors of a future heart attack than blood cholesterol tests because the first step in forming arteriosclerotic plaques is an inflammation that roughens the inner lining of arteries. The authors showed that people who are depressed have higher blood levels of C reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6, that measure inflammation. Depressed people did not have an increased incidence of known causes of inflammation such as cigarette smoking or subclinical infection with cytomegalovirus or Chlamydia pneumoniae. They were significantly fatter than control subjects. The authors feel that being fat, and not the depression, caused the high blood levels of inflammatory markers and that being overweight is a much more significant risk for a heart attack than being just depressed.

Clinical depression and inflammatory risk markers for coronary heart disease. American Journal of Cardiology, 2002, Vol 90, Iss 12, pp 1279-1283. GE Miller, CA Stetler, RM Carney, KE Freedland, WA Banks. Miller GE, Washington Univ, Dept Psychol, Campus Box 1125, 1 Brookings Dr, St Louis,MO 63130 USA

3/15/03

Copyright 2003 www.DrMirkin.com
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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