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Depression Could Trigger Early Death

Web Desk (October 24, 2017): A large, long-term study has confirmed that both men and women who have had at least one major depressive episode have a significantly higher mortality risk. Moreover, this risk has progressively increased for women.

Depression is one of the most widespread mental disorders among adults in the United States. According to data provided by the National Institute of Mental Health, 6.7 percent of all U.S. adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2015 alone.

A major depressive episode, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, occurs when five or more of the following symptoms are consistently present for a period of 2 weeks: depressed mood, loss of pleasure in normally pleasurable activities, abnormal weight loss or weight gain, sleeplessness or oversleeping, abnormal physical agitation or slowness, fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, lack of focus, and “recurrent thoughts of death.”

Existing research has already linked depression to a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease and sudden cardiac death, especially in women.

And now, a study recently published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal points to major depressive episodes as a significant risk factor of early death for both men and women.

The study was conducted by researchers from across U.S. and Canadian institutions, including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (of the National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, MD, and the School of Epidemiology at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada.

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