Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Isolation, Depression May Worsen Atherosclerosis

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Isolation, Depression May Worsen Atherosclerosis

Article excerpt

ORLANDO, FLA. -- Social integration can be an important factor for maintaining cardiovascular health, according to studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Psychosomatic Society.

In one study of 102 women, social isolation among depressed patients was associated with significant progression of coronary atherosclerosis. But social integration appeared to offset the damaging effects of depression. Participants were women aged 30-65 admitted to the hospital with MI or unstable angina pectoris, Dr. Kristina Orth-Gomer reported.

Atherosclerotic progression, as measured at 10 predetermined coronary artery segments by quantitative coronary angiography at baseline and 3 years later, was marginal among socially integrated women regardless of depression status (0.06 mm of progression among depressed patients; 0.07 mm in nondepressed patients).

In those women who were socially isolated, however, depression was associated with an average progression of 0.19 mm, compared with only 0.03 mm in socially isolated women who were not depressed, said Dr. Orth-Gomer of the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm. …

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