Women at Greater Risk for Depression Post-MI Than Men

ESC: Depression After MI May Be More Common for Women
ESC: Depression After MI May Be More Common for Women

(HealthDay News) — Women are at greater risk for anxiety and depression after a myocardial infarction (MI) than men, a new study finds. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the Acute Cardiovascular Care Association of the European Society of Cardiology, held from Oct. 18 to 20 in Geneva.

Researchers looked at 160 patients in Lithuania who were interviewed at least one month after suffering an MI. About one-quarter (24.4 percent) of the patients were depressed and 28.2 percent of those had been treated with antidepressants. Women were more likely than men to have depression and anxiety, and the conditions were more severe in women.

The researchers also found that smokers were more likely to have anxiety after an MI than former smokers and those who never smoked. But there was no link between smoking and increased risk of depression after an MI. Physical inactivity was associated with an increased risk of depression after an MI.

"The World Health Organization predicts that by 2020 depression will be the second leading cause of disability and mortality in the world, surpassed only by ischemic heart disease. Major depression follows MI in approximately 18 percent of cases and is an important predictor of disability and poor quality of life in the year post-MI," study author Pranas Serpytis, M.D., of Vilnius University in Lithuania, said in an association news release. Patients with depression are nearly six times more likely to die within six months after an MI than those without depression, he added. And the increased risk of death in patients with depression persists up to 18 months. Nevertheless, "the condition remains under-recognized and undertreated," he noted.

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