-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, June 21 (HealthDay News) -- Older women who have
depression or take antidepressants may be at increased risk for
diabetes and cardiovascular disease, a new study finds.
Researchers looked at about eight years of data from a few
thousand postmenopausal women in the United States. Those who had
depression or were using antidepressants were more likely to have a
higher body-mass index (BMI), a measurement of body fat based on
height and weight; larger waist size and signs of inflammation than
those who did not have depression and were not taking
These measurements are all associated with increased risk for
diabetes and cardiovascular disease, noted the authors of the study
in the June 13 issue of the
American Journal of Public Health.
"It may be prudent to monitor postmenopausal women who have elevated depression symptoms or are taking antidepressant medication to prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease," study leader Dr. Yunsheng Ma, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, said in a school news release.
This makes sense "given that diabetes and cardiovascular disease
can be effectively prevented or delayed in high-risk individuals
with lifestyle modifications or pharmacological interventions,"
study co-author Dr. Simin Liu, a professor of epidemiology and
medicine at Brown University, said in the release.
While the study found an association between depression or
antidepressant use and certain risk factors for heart disease and
diabetes, it did not establish a cause-and-effect link.
The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more
heart disease in women.
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