Health  

Depression increases chance of early death by 30%


*Mental health condition suppresses immune system, putting people at risk of illness

Depression increases the risk of an early death by up to three times, new research reveals.Men’s risk of a premature passing increases three-fold when suffering from the mental health condition, while women’s risk is heightened by up to 51 percent, a study found.

The findings were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.Previous research reveals depression causes the release of stress hormones that suppress the immune system, putting sufferers at an increased risk of conditions such as cancer.

People with the mental health condition may also be more likely to have unhealthy lifestyle habits, including a poor diet, inactivity and excessive alcohol intake, past studies have shown.

Lead author Stephen Gilman from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Maryland, said: “For some individuals depression can be very serious condition.It is very important to seek treatment for depression and to be vigilant about recurrences.”

How the research was carried out. The researchers analyzed 3,410 adults between 1952 and 1967, 1968 and 1990, and 1991 and 2011. The study’s participants’ had an average age of 50 when the trial started.

Results reveal depression increases the risk of an early death by up to three times. Men’s risk increases three-fold, while women’s peaks at 51 percent. The risk is greatest in the years following a depressive episode.

Previous research has linked depression to the release of stress hormones that suppress the immune system, putting sufferers at increased risk of disorders including multiple sclerosis, arthritis and even certain cancers.

People with depression may also neglect their physical health through lifestyle habits such as a poor diet, inactivity, smoking and excessive alcohol intake.

The mental health condition is more prevalent in women, however, past findings suggest men suffer the effects of it more as they are often less inclined to seek help.

In this article:
Depression


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