Posts Tagged ‘depression’

The effects of depression on risks of stroke in young women

In a statement on its journal Stroke, the American Heart Association revealed that the costs of stroke treatment are likely to increase by 20% by 2013. This projection is a worrisome one, especially for the 45 to 64-year-old demographic, which is considered to be at highest risk of suffering from a stroke.



Among this demographic, those suffering from depression are known to have higher risks of stroke. Meanwhile, a new study now suggests that the association is even stronger in younger women.

A study conducted by Australian researchers tracked about 10,500 women with the average age of 52 and without a history of stroke. The women were surveyed every three years for 12 years, and it was found that about 24 percent were depressed at each survey.



The researchers found that depression almost doubled the risk for stroke, even when factors like age, education, blood pressure, heart disease, alcohol intake, physical activity, smoking, diabetes, and body mass index were accounted for. A previous study on the same subject found that the risk was increased by 30 percent, although the average age in the 2011 study was 14 years older. Additionally, there are studies that found no increased risk in people over 65.

The study is considered as merely an addition to the growing body of knowledge on the effect of depression on the risks of certain diseases on people. Larger studies are needed to determine whether depression truly does nearly double the risks in younger women.



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Depression: Understanding, preventing, and treating it

While there are a lot of studies about depression, the answer as to why people get depressed is still unknown. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) believes that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, cognitive, and environmental factors, which include trauma, loss of a loved one, financial problems, broken relationships, and even stress.


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Although medical studies have proven that depression can easily be treated, prevention is still the best cure. Doing activities that promote a healthy appearance may make a huge difference in how people who are prone to depression see themselves. In addition, eating healthy, taking some time off for travel and relaxation, and hanging out with friends who can make them laugh and reduce their stress can lessen people’s chances of having a depression episode. Exercise, too, can help prevent depression, as during a vigorous exercise routine, endorphins, which can boost a person’s mood, are released.


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As with any illness, early diagnosis and treatment of depression can lessen both the intensity and the duration of the symptoms, and may even reduce the chances of a relapse. Doctors may use either psychotherapy or medication, or even a combination of both in treating depression. However, treatment, especially through medication, can take weeks before it can truly relieve the patient of the symptoms.


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Depression may be dangerous at times, as extreme cases can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. But with enough support from friends and family, it can be prevented.

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