Stress-related disorders linked to heightened risk of cardiovascular disease

Stress related disorders — conditions triggered by a significant life event or trauma — may be linked to a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), finds a large Swedish study published in The BMJtoday.

The risk of severe and acute CVD events, such as cardiac arrest and heart attack, was particularly high in the first six months after diagnosis of a stress related disorder, and within the first year for other types of CVD.

Most people are, at some point during their life, exposed to psychological trauma or stressful life events such as the death of a loved one, a diagnosis of a life threatening illness, natural disasters, or violence, write the authors.

Full story at Science Daily

Depression negatively impacts heart and stroke patients

Depression, even when undiagnosed, can have many negative effects on cardiovascular patients, including poor healthcare experiences, more use of healthcare resources and higher health costs, according to preliminary research presented at the American Heart Association’s Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2018, a premier global exchange of the latest advances in quality of care and outcomes research in cardiovascular disease and stroke for researchers, healthcare professionals and policymakers.

About one-fifth of cardiovascular disease patients suffer from depression.

“While we don’t know which comes first — depression or cardiovascular disease — the consensus is that depression is a risk marker for cardiovascular disease, meaning if you have cardiovascular disease, there is a higher likelihood that you could also have depression, when compared with the risk in the general population,” said Victor Okunrintemi, M.D., M.P.H., a research fellow at Baptist Health South Florida in Coral Gables, Florida, and lead author of a pair of studies that looked into different aspects of depression and cardiovascular disease.

Full story at Science Daily

Fat shaming linked to greater health risks

Body shaming is a pervasive form of prejudice, found in cyber bullying, critiques of celebrities’ appearances, at work and school, and in public places for everyday Americans. People who are battling obesity face being stereotyped as lazy, incompetent, unattractive, lacking willpower, and to blame for their excess weight. The pain of these messages may take a toll on health and increase risk of cardiovascular and metabolic disease, according to a new study published in Obesity, the journal of The Obesity Society, led by a research team from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

The team led by Rebecca Pearl, PhD, an assistant professor of Psychology in Psychiatry and colleagues from Penn’s Center for Weight and Eating Disorders found that, above and beyond the effects of body mass index (BMI) and depression, higher levels of weight bias internalization were associated with increased risk for cardiovascular and metabolic disease.

Full story of fat shaming and health risks at Science Daily

Faulty gene linked to depression and cardiovascular disease

Researchers at the University of Adelaide say they may have discovered a new target in the fight against depression: a faulty gene that is linked to cardiovascular and metabolic conditions.

A team led by the University of Adelaide’s Discipline of Psychiatry has reviewed and attempted to replicate the findings of the growing body of research showing the types of genes expressed in the brain and surrounding tissues during depression.

The findings — published online ahead of print in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews — have supported multiple theories of the underlying genetic causes of depression, and have highlighted one gene that until now has gone under the radar in relation to mood disorders.

Full story of gene linked to depression and cardiovascular disease at Science Daily

Adults with schizophrenia more likely to die; high cardiovascular death rates

Adults with schizophrenia were more than 3.5 times as likely to die as adults in the general U.S. population, particularly from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and that implicates tobacco as a modifiable risk factor, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Many factors, including economic disadvantage, negative health behaviors, and difficulty accessing and adhering to medical treatments are believed to contribute to premature death among individuals with schizophrenia. Smoking, limited physical activity, obesity, elevated blood glucose level, hypertension and dyslipidemia are more common in individuals with schizophrenia than in the general population.

Mark Olfson, M.D., M.P.H.., of Columbia University, New York, and coauthors describe the overall and cause-specific death rates and standardized mortality ratios (SMRs, which are used to compare death rates in populations) for adults with schizophrenia compared with the U.S. general population. The authors identified a national group of more than 1.1 million Medicaid patients with schizophrenia (between the ages of 20 to 64) and 74,003 deaths, of which 65,553 had a known cause.

Full story of adults with schizophrenia and cardiovascular death rates at Science Daily

Psoriasis, risk of depression in the US population

The chronic inflammatory skin condition psoriasis was associated with the risk of major depression, although the risk was unrelated to the severity of the disorder, according to an article published online byJAMA Dermatology.

Psoriasis affects 3 percent to 4 percent of the U.S. population, and the psychological impact of psoriasis can be substantial. The identification of depression among patients with psoriasis is especially important because major depression is associated with decreased quality of life and increased all-cause mortality.

Roger S. Ho, M.D., M.S., M.P.H., of the New York University School of Medicine, New York, and coauthors examined the relationship between psoriasis and major depression in a nationally representative group, after adjusting for cardiovascular risk because prior research has suggested both depression and psoriasis are associated with cardiovascular disease. The authors analyzed data for participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009 through 2012. Diagnosis of major depression was based on a health questionnaire.

Full story of psoriases and depression in the US at Science Daily

Stress levels linked to risk of liver disease death, study shows

Suffering from anxiety or depression could carry an increased risk of death from liver disease, a study suggests.

The study is the first to identify a possible link between high levels of psychological distress and deaths resulting from a variety of liver diseases.

Reasons for this are unclear as the biological links between psychological distress and liver disease are not well understood, researchers say.

Previous research suggests mental distress can put people at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. At the same time, risk factors for cardiovascular disease — such as obesity and raised blood pressure — have been linked to a common form of liver disease, known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Full story of stress and liver disease at Science Daiy