08-23 Impact of depression – 4: Increases risk for cardiovascular diseases in men

Posted in Depression

Impact of depression – 4: Increases risk for cardiovascular diseases in men

Depressive disorder or clinical depression causes debilitating symptoms that adversely affects the way one feels, thinks and handles day-to-day activities, such as eating, sleeping or working. In extreme cases, depression can lead to health issues, such as chronic fatigue, decreased appetite, insomnia, abnormal functioning of the brain, etc., which can be detrimental to proper functioning of the body in the long run.

A study, published in the journal Atherosclerosis, which investigated the depressed mood and exhaustion (DEEX) index as a risk predictor for the onset of cardiovascular illness among men, showed that depression had a significant impact on the cardiovascular health of men. It was found that depression contributes to nearly 15 percent of all cardiovascular deaths, as compared to hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking that account for nearly 8.4 to 21.4 percent of mortality rates.

In the study, which involved 3,428 men aged 45-74 years, the researchers monitored the development of each participant for over a decade’s period. It has been found that men are less likely to talk about depression and thus, they rarely seek help, as compared to women who accept the condition more openly.

According to Karl -Heinz Ladwig, lead author of the study, “Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity.”

Why depression in men is often undiagnosed

Depression in men is often undiagnosed and due to the fact that most of the traditional symptoms of depression, including sadness, prolonged blues, worthlessness and feelings of guilt, may not be the typical symptoms of clinical depression in men. When diagnosed with depression, men exhibit symptoms such as are irritability, anger and lack of interest in various activities. This behavior can be attributed to the disparity in the upbringing of a male and a female child. According to Andrew Angelino, M.D., director of general psychiatry unit at John Hopkins Bayview Medical Centre, “We’ve taught boys that they don’t cry; so instead of crying, they get angry and threatening.”

Ignoring depression can be quite critical for men’s health. Especially, at risk are the men aged 85 years and above, as well as those who have comorbidities like cancer, hypertension and diabetes or others who suffer from social isolation. Certain medications, such as beta blockers, are also known to elevate the risk of depression in men.

Considering that depression is generally left undiagnosed in men, it is the responsibility of the loved ones to encourage such people to seek medical help at the earliest. Depression not only increases the risk of coronary heart disease, obesity and hypertension in men, but also puts them at a higher risk of committing suicide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women due to an untreated depression.

Recovery road map

Men are as likely to suffer from depression as women. Recognizing the signs in time and seeking treatment is essential to lead a healthy life. Untreated depression can do immense physical and psychological damage preventing a person from performing daily activities. It not only endangers heart health but also increases the risk of several immunological disorders.  But, the good news is depression is treatable.

If you or your loved one is battling depression or any other mental disorder, the Depression Treatment Centers of California can provide you with information about the best depression treatment centers in California. Call us at our 24/7 helpline number 855-678-0400 or chat online with our counselors for further information about the best depression rehab centers in California.

Read the other articles of the series “Impact of depression:”

  1. Leads to muddled thinking
  2. Increases risks for other psychiatric disorders


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