Heart of a Woman

News Note

By Lara Evans Bracciante

Women suffering even mild depression are at greater risk of heart attack, according to researchers at New York’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The four-year study reviewed almost 100,000 women aged 50 to 79. Women with no history of heart disease who experienced sub-clinical depression (based on inquiries about things such as crying spells and feelings of being disliked) had a 50 percent greater risk of dying of a heart attack during the four-year period than women who were not depressed. Depressed women who did have a history of heart disease had a 45 percent greater risk of experiencing a stroke. The only risk factors that proved more significant were high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking. Researchers are quick to point out that the link may not necessarily be causal. Perhaps underlying heart issues could be contributing to depression, or possibly a broken-down heart begins in the emotional sense.