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The Troubled Heart- Depression & Heart Risk



Reinforcing the connection between mind and body- researchers are finding that depression in women has a big impact on heart attack and death.

“They found that women that had that moderate to severe depression they were twice as likely to have either a heart attack, an artery block that required a stent, or death from a cardiac event,” says Dr. Lynne Einbinder, who is a cardiologist with Lee Memorial Health System.

It was a shocking conclusion – the women studied were 55 and younger – which coincides with a busy, hectic time in life.

“This is the age, in the forties to fifties, you have a full time job or, or you’re working at home and doing a lot of things in the community. You’ve got children. So I think the fact that you have these stresses may increase your risk of depression and then that unfortunately seems to be increasing the risk of heart disease,” says Dr. Einbinder.

The troubled heart is now being recommended as a risk factor for heart trouble in women. Depression is joining the list that includes high blood pressure, obesity, smoking and diabetes. Based on these findings, doctors may take a more active approach to treating it.

“There is some evidence that treating the depression can be helpful both in terms of quality of life and hopefully for prevention of heart disease as well,” says Dr. Einbinder.

Looking for warning signs such as marked sadness, hopelessness, fatigue, insomnia and weight changes- may help reach vulnerable women before they hit their breaking point.

View More Health Matters video segments at leememorial.org/healthmatters/

Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.

Visit leememorial.org

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