More white blood cells in cardiac patients with depression

September 6, 2012, Tilburg University

(Medical Xpress)—Cardiac patients suffering from depression are at greater risk for new cardiac events or cardiac death than patients without depression. It is still unclear which underlying mechanisms play a role in this adverse relationship. Researchers from Tilburg University, the Veterans Affair Hospital in San Francisco, and VU University Medical Center in the Netherlands suggest that inflammatory processes could be involved (Psychoneuroendocrinology, August 2012).

The researchers followed 667 patients with stable for 6 years to investigate the relationship between depressive symptoms and – a marker for inflammation. Patients were asked about their feelings of depression annually and their blood was drawn at the first and last assessment to determine their white blood cell count. These levels are a reflection of ongoing in the body but are also involved in the formation of atherosclerosis, an important precursor of cardiac disease. Because health behaviors such as smoking, physical activity and overweight have a great influence on both depression and cardiac disease, patients were also asked to rate these behaviors.

The results showed that patients who repeatedly experienced depressive symptoms (depressed at two or more interviews) had a higher white blood cell count after 5 years of follow-up compared to those reporting depressive symptoms at one interview or not at all. Further analyses showed that this association was independent of the presence of adverse .

The higher white blood cell count in the presence of frequently depressive episodes could possibly explain why cardiac patients with depressive feelings are at greater risk for new cardiac events or cardiac death than those who don't experience depressive feelings.

Explore further: Statins linked with lower depression risk in heart patients

Related Stories

Statins linked with lower depression risk in heart patients

February 24, 2012
Patients with heart disease who took cholesterol-lowering statins were significantly less likely to develop depression than those who did not, in a study by Mary Whooley, MD, a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center ...

Inflammation in depression: Chicken or egg?

January 5, 2012
An important ongoing debate in the field of psychiatry is whether inflammation in the body is a consequence of or contributor to major depression. A new study in Biological Psychiatry has attempted to resolve the issue.

Recommended for you

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.