Depression and PAD

April 30, 2012 9:46:00 AM PDT
Depression affects approximately 18.8 million Americans on a daily basis.

Now researchers might have an explanation as to why this number is so high.

It has been shown that depression may be linked to an increased risk of arterial narrowing in the legs and pelvis, a condition known as peripheral artery disease (PAD).

Experts already are aware that depression is a risk factor for constricted heart arteries; however, its effect on PAD is uncertain. Researchers used data from 1,024 men and women in the Heart and Soul Study and followed them for about seven years.

In the beginning of the study 12 percent of participants with depression had PAD, compared to seven percent of patients without depression who had PAD. Similarly, nine percent of depressed patients and six percent of those without depression had PAD-related events during the seven-year follow-up.

This information points to key information that helps demonstrate the importance of depression screening and treatment for PAD patients.

SOURCE: American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2012, April 20, 2012