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A study from Washington University in St. Louis shows that people who are depressed have higher blood levels of inflammatory markers that predict an increased risk for heat attacks.

Blood tests for inflammation are better predictors of a future heart attack than blood cholesterol tests because the first step in forming arteriosclerotic plaques is an inflammation that roughens the inner lining of arteries. The authors showed that people who are depressed have higher blood levels of C reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6, that measure inflammation. Depressed people did not have an increased incidence of known causes of inflammation such as cigarette smoking or subclinical infection with cytomegalovirus or Chlamydia pneumoniae. They were significantly fatter than control subjects. The authors feel that being fat, and not the depression, caused the high blood levels of inflammatory markers and that being overweight is a much more significant risk for a heart attack than being just depressed.

Clinical depression and inflammatory risk markers for coronary heart disease. American Journal of Cardiology, 2002, Vol 90, Iss 12, pp 1279-1283. GE Miller, CA Stetler, RM Carney, KE Freedland, WA Banks. Miller GE, Washington Univ, Dept Psychol, Campus Box 1125, 1 Brookings Dr, St Louis,MO 63130 USA

Checked 8/31/05

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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