Depression is Physically Heartbreaking

Young women with a history of depression are twice as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that raise the risk of heart disease, according to a new study. However, men with a similar history do not suffer as frequently from the same symptoms, researchers say.

The national study, conducted between 1988-94, covered more than 6,000 men and women ages 17 to 39. Women were more likely than men to have experienced a prior episode of depression. Additionally, those women who had at least one episode were also more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome.

People with metabolic syndrome have at least three out of five factors linked to heart disease:

  • High blood pressure
  • High triglycerides
  • Low HDL (good) cholesterol
  • High fasting blood sugar
  • Abdominal obesity

Scientists pointed out that depression in women was linked with the number of metabolic syndrome components present. The association between depression and high blood pressure was particularly strong.

Perhaps conventional medicine is finally beginning to realize that total health means the mind and body are working together, not separately from each other. The right nutritional habits for your nutritional type, however, can make all the difference in the world in your physical and mental health.

Science Daily June 29, 2004

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