Wednesday September 18, 2019

Does Depression Increase risk of Early Death in Women? A new study answers

The findings showed that the risk of death associated with depression appeared strongest in the years following a depressive episode.

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Depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women. Wikimedia

Toronto, October 23, 2017 : Due to the pressure caused by changing societal roles and multiple responsibilities, depression has significantly increased the risk of early death in women, a study has found.

The findings showed that the risk of death associated with depression appeared strongest in the years following a depressive episode.

“During the recent years in which women’s risk of death increased significantly, roles have changed dramatically both at home and in the workplace, and many women shoulder multiple responsibilities and expectations,” said Ian Colman from the University of Ottawa.

In the study, the lifespan for young adults with depression at age 25 was markedly shorter over the 60-year period — the lifespan shortened ranging from 10 to 12 fewer years of life, then four to seven years and later seven to 18 fewer years of life.

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“At first the association was limited to men, but in later years it was seen for women as well,” said Stephen Gilman from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Maryland, US.

For the study, published in CMAJ, the team looked at 60 years of mental health data on 3410 adults from a region in Atlantic Canada and linked the data to deaths in the Canadian Mortality Database.

Though depression has also been linked with poorer diet, lack of exercise, smoking and alcohol consumption — all factors that can result in chronic health conditions — did not explain the increased risk of death associated with depression in this study, the researchers noted.

Family physicians should monitor the patients for mood disturbances, especially recurrent episodes of depression, so that they may offer treatment and support, the researchers suggested. (IANS)

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Playing Game of Mahjong may be the Answer to Depression

Global economic and epidemiologic trends have led to significant increases in the burden of mental health among older adults

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Game, Mahjong, Depression
A study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine says that regularly playing the popular tile-based strategy game - mahjong - was one of several types of social participation linked to reduced rates of depression among middle-aged and older adults in China. Pixabay

When it comes to reducing depression risk among middle-aged and older adults in China, playing a game of mahjong may be the answer, according to new research.

A study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine says that regularly playing the popular tile-based strategy game – mahjong – was one of several types of social participation linked to reduced rates of depression among middle-aged and older adults in China.

“Global economic and epidemiologic trends have led to significant increases in the burden of mental health among older adults, especially in the low and middle income countries,” said study co-author Adam Chen, Associate Professor at University of Georgia.

Poor mental health is a major issue in China, which accounts for 17 per cent of the global disease burden of mental disorders.

Game, Mahjong, Depression
When it comes to reducing depression risk among middle-aged and older adults in China, playing a game of mahjong may be the answer, according to new research. Pixabay

For the study, the research team analysed survey data from nearly 11,000 residents aged 45 years and older from the nationally representative China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study.

They looked at symptoms of depression and compared it to the type and frequency of social participation, including visiting with friends, playing mahjong, participating in a sport or social club, and volunteering in the community.

They found that, on the whole, participating in a wide variety of activities more frequently was associated with better mental health.

Specifically, urban residents who played mahjong, a popular strategy game, were less likely to feel depressed.

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“What is more surprising is that mahjong playing does not associate with better mental health among rural elderly respondents. One hypothesis is that mahjong playing tends to be more competitive and at times become a means of gambling in rural China,” Chen added. (IANS)