Depression increases risk of heart failure

By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer

If you’re feeling down, talk it out with a trusted friend, parent, or teacher.

We’ve all been sad before, and it’s a normal part of life. Sometimes, though, being sad for a very long period of time can turn into depression, where your energy levels are low, life seems gloomy, and even activities you normally enjoy don’t have the same spark. Now, a recent study has found that depression increases risk of heart failure in the future! Talk about depressing news…

Researchers observed 63,000 people over 11 years, and determined that mild depression was linked to a 5% increased risk of heart failure. For those who suffered from moderate to severe depression, the risk shot up to a mega 40% chance! What’s worse, is that being depressed makes it harder to engage in heart-healthy activities like exercising, eating well, quitting smoking, and losing weight.

While further research is required before depression can be proven to increase risk of heart failure, study author Lise Tuset Gustad recommends that people should seek help before their heartbreak leads to a broken heart. “The early symptoms of depression include a loss of interest and loss of pleasure in things that have normally been interesting or given pleasure,” she explains. “If you feel like that, speak to your friends and if it lasts for a month see your doctor or nurse. Depression can be treated easily in the early stages and many people don’t need medication. Talking to a professional may be all you need.”

Featured image courtesy of Colby Stopa on Flickr. Image of girl with bangs courtesy of darcyadelaide on Flickr.