Social isolation and low mood accelerate coronary disease in women

A study published in the 2006 March issue of Psychotherapy & Psychosomatics by a Swedish group of investigators points to the effects of social isolation and low mood on the progression of coronary disease.

Although both depressive symptoms and social isolation in relation to coronary heart disease have been studied previously, few have examined their joint effects on coronary atherosclerosis progression in women.

Among the women enrolled in the Stockholm Female Coronary Angiography Study, Sweden, between 1991 and 1994, 102 were evaluated for coronary atherosclerosis progression using a computer-assisted standardized assessment, repeated quantitative coronary angiographic documentation, of the mean luminal diameter change over 3 years in 10 predefined coronary segments. Depressive symptoms and social isolation were assessed by standard questionnaires.

Multivariable controlled mixed model ANOVAs revealed that women who were both depressed and socially isolated had the greatest disease progression: their absolute mean luminal diameter decreased by 0.18 mm [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.11-0.24] and their percent narrowing was 5.5% (95% CI = 3.6-7.4), whereas in women who lacked both psychological risk factors, the mean luminal diameter decrease was 0.04 mm and their percent narrowing was 0.9%.

These associations were independent of the baseline luminal diameter and standard risk factors, including age, smoking history, hypertension, and high-density lipoproteins. In women with coronary disease, depressive symptoms and social isolation in combination accelerated disease progression, suggesting a direct psychosocial effect on the atherosclerotic process. These findings provide an additional opportunity for therapeutic and preventive efforts against progression of coronary disease in women.

Comments

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment
Post

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.

You might also like...
Plant-based meats may boost heart health despite being ultra-processed, study finds