Depression severity matters for risk of heart failure

Norwegian researchers have found a dose-response relationship between depressive symptoms and the likelihood of a cardiac event, reports PsychCentral. As depression severity increases, so does the risk of heart failure. 

The study is based on data collected from a large epidemiological study, called the HUNT study, that includes information from about 63,000 Norwegians. 

When compared to participants who reported no symptoms of depression, those with mild depression had a five percent increased risk of heart failure. For participants with moderate to severe depression symptoms, the risk shot up to 40 percent.

First author of the study, Lise Tuset Gustad, said in a press release from the European Society of Cardiology:

“Patients at all hospitals should be screened for depression to help them recover from existing illnesses, avoid developing new ones, and have a more enjoyable life.”

The findings were presented at EuroHeartCare 2014.