Nav: Home

Depression sufferers at risk of multiple chronic diseases

May 30, 2019

Women who experience symptoms of depression are at risk of developing multiple chronic diseases, research led by The University of Queensland has found.

UQ School of Public Health PhD scholar Xiaolin Xu said women who experienced symptoms of depression, even without a clinical diagnosis, were at risk of developing multiple chronic diseases.

"These days, many people suffer from multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer," Mr Xu said.

"We looked at how women progress in the development of these chronic diseases before and after the onset of depressive symptoms."

The Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health followed healthy, middle-aged women with no previous diagnosis of depression or chronic illness over 20 years.

The study found 43.2 per cent of women experienced elevated symptoms of depression and just under half the cohort reported they were diagnosed or taking treatment for depression.

Women from the depressed group were 1.8 times more likely to have multiple chronic health conditions before they first experienced depressive symptoms.

"Experiencing depressive symptoms appeared to amplify the risk of chronic illness," Mr Xu said.

"After women started experiencing these symptoms, they were 2.4 times more likely to suffer from multiple chronic conditions compared to women without depressive symptoms."

The research suggests depression and chronic diseases share a similar genetic or biological pathway.

"Inflammation in the body has been linked to the development of both depression and chronic physical diseases," he said.

"Chronic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, are also commonly associated with depression."

These findings help strengthen healthcare professionals understanding of mental and physical health.

"Healthcare professionals need to know that clinical and sub-clinical depression (elevated depressive symptoms) can be linked to other chronic physical conditions," he said.

"When treating patients for these symptoms, healthcare professionals must realise these people are at risk of developing further chronic illness."

Women with both conditions were more likely to come from low-income households, be overweight and inactive, smoke tobacco and drink alcohol.

"Maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and reducing harmful behaviours could help prevent and slow the progression of multiple chronic diseases."
-end-
This research is published in American Psychological Association Health Psychology journal (DOI: 10.1037/hea0000738)

This research was led by UQ PhD student Xiaolin Xu and School of Public Health Professor Gita Mishra.

Media: Xiaolin Xu, xiaolin.xu@uq.net.au; Faculty of Medicine Communications, med.media@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 5133, +61 436 368 746.

University of Queensland

Related Depression Articles:

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.
Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.
CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.
Post-natal depression in dads linked to depression in their teenage daughters
Fathers as well as mothers can experience post-natal depression -- and it is linked to emotional problems for their teenage daughters, new research has found.
Being overweight likely to cause depression, even without health complications
A largescale genomic analysis has found the strongest evidence yet that being overweight causes depression, even in the absence of other health problems.
Don't let depression keep you from exercising
Exercise may be just as crucial to a depression patient's good health as finding an effective antidepressant.
Having an abortion does not lead to depression
Having an abortion does not increase a woman's risk for depression, according to a new University of Maryland School of Public Health-led study of nearly 400,000 women.
Mother's depression might do the same to her child's IQ
Roughly one in 10 women in the United States will experience depression, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Teenage depression linked to father's depression
Adolescents whose fathers have depressive symptoms are more likely to experience symptoms of depression themselves, finds a new Lancet Psychiatry study led by UCL researchers.
Anxiety and depression linked to migraines
In a study of 588 patients who attended an outpatient headache clinic, more frequent migraines were experienced by participants with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
More Depression News and Depression Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Rethinking Anger
Anger is universal and complex: it can be quiet, festering, justified, vengeful, and destructive. This hour, TED speakers explore the many sides of anger, why we need it, and who's allowed to feel it. Guests include psychologists Ryan Martin and Russell Kolts, writer Soraya Chemaly, former talk radio host Lisa Fritsch, and business professor Dan Moshavi.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#538 Nobels and Astrophysics
This week we start with this year's physics Nobel Prize awarded to Jim Peebles, Michel Mayor, and Didier Queloz and finish with a discussion of the Nobel Prizes as a way to award and highlight important science. Are they still relevant? When science breakthroughs are built on the backs of hundreds -- and sometimes thousands -- of people's hard work, how do you pick just three to highlight? Join host Rachelle Saunders and astrophysicist, author, and science communicator Ethan Siegel for their chat about astrophysics and Nobel Prizes.