Tuesday October 23, 2018

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
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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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Cycling, Walking Likely To Develop Better Mental Health

This association was even stronger among people who reported active commuting, the team said.

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Cycling, walking in nature may improve your mental health. Pixabay

People who commute — walking or cycling — through natural environments are more likely to develop better mental health than those who commute less, according to a new study.

Natural environments included all public and private outdoor spaces that contain ‘green’ and/or ‘blue’ natural elements such as street trees, forests, city parks and natural parks/reserves and all types of water bodies.

“Mental health and physical inactivity are two of the main public health problems associated with the life in urban environments. Urban design could be a powerful tool to confront these challenges and create healthier cities. One way of doing so would be investing in natural commuting routes for cycling and walking,” said Mark Nieuwenhuijsen from the University of Barcelona.

For the study, published in the journal, Environment International, the research team examined nearly 3,600 participants who answered a questionnaire about their commuting habits and their mental health.

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A couple walking, Pixabay

The findings showed that respondents commuting through natural environments on a daily basis had on average a 2.74 point higher mental health score compared to those who commuted through natural environments less frequently.

This association was even stronger among people who reported active commuting, the team said.

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“From previous experimental studies we knew that physical activity in natural environments can reduce stress, improve mood and mental restoration when compared to the equivalent activity in urban environments,” said first author Wilma Zijlema from the varsity.

“Although this study is the first of its kind to our knowledge and, therefore, more research will be needed, our data show that commuting through these natural spaces alone may also have a positive effect on mental health.” (IANS)

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