Researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Centre and the University of California, San Francisco have found an association between depression and an increased risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD). They came to this conclusion after studying the data from more than 1,000 men and women with heart disease, who had participated in the Heart and Soul Study for approximately seven years.
While there were other contributing factors such as smoking and physical inactivity, the presence of depression in an individual was also identified with the development and progression of PAD. The study authors stated that they were not sure which came first – the depression or the PAD, or which condition led to the other – however their results highlighted the need for physicians to be alert to the mental health of their patients. They added that lifestyle changes that include increased activity, better eating habits, quitting smoking and stress management could decrease the effects of both depression and PAD.
To read the online summary in Science News, go to www.sciencedaily.com.