Women with depression face higher cardiovascular risk than men: Study

A new study found that women had a higher hazard ratio of depression for cardiovascular risk than men

Research has shown that people with depression are at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Now, a new study shows that women with depression are likely to face a higher risk than men.

The study, published in JACC: Asia, examined the association between depression and CVD and the differences between women and men. The findings found that the impact of sex differences on the association between depression and cardiovascular outcomes was consistent, a press statement revealed.

For the study, the researchers used the JMDC Claims Database from 2005 to 2022. They identified 4,125,720 participants who met the study’s criteria. The study’s results showed that the hazard ratio of depression for CVD was 1.39 in men and 1.64 in women compared with those without depression. Furthermore, hazard ratios of depression for myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, stroke, heart failure, and atrial fibrillation were also higher for women compared to men.

One of the reasons for the differences in the impact of depression could be because women may experience more severe and persistent symptoms of depression compared to men, the researchers said in the statement. Women may be more likely to have depression during crucial periods of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause, the further noted.

Notably, differences in the use of healthcare and treatment between men and women and differences in biological factors, such as genetics and hormonal profiles, could also increase women’s CVD risk, the statement added.

“The identification of sex-specific factors in the adverse effects of depression on cardiovascular outcomes may help in the development of targeted prevention and treatment strategies that address the specific CVD risks faced by depressed patients,” study author Hidehiro Kaneko said in the statement.

According to the researchers, a better understanding will enable healthcare professionals to provide relevant care for both men and women with depression, which could result in improved CVD outcomes for these populations.

Previous studies have shown an association between depression and CVD. For instance, a January 2024 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that young adults who experience depression are more likely to develop CVD and have poor heart health.

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