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New report published in The Journal of the American Medical Association analyzes data from more than 563,000 global participants

MANHASSET, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Researchers from the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research have published a new report today in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showing that depression linked to cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) have been observed below the previously observed baseline. The team analyzed data of 563,255 study participants to get a better understanding of the cause-and-effect relationship between depressive symptoms and CVDs.

More than 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression and past research has linked the condition to CVDs, which is the No. 1 cause of death globally. In the new JAMA study, researchers examined individual participant data from 22 long-term prospective studies from the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration (ERFC) and the UK Biobank (UKB). Study participants had self-reported depressive symptoms and no baseline history of CVD. The study helped characterize the relationship between depressive symptoms and CVD.

“This study allowed us to advance our understanding of the association between depressive symptoms and CVD in several key aspects,” said Karina W. Davidson, PhD, MASc, senior author of this paper and professor and senior vice president at the Feinstein Institutes. “The hope is research like this will help contribute to policy changes for how to best screen and prevent cardiovascular diseases for those at risk.”

After adjusting for age, sex, smoking status and history of diabetes, there were significant associations between depressive symptoms scores, coronary heart disease, stroke and CVD. One significant finding from the study revealed that depressive symptoms are associated not only with CVD, but also with a wider range of cause-specific mortality, like cancer.

“Anxiety and depression take a significant toll on quality of life in today’s society,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes. “Dr. Davidson’s major study of a large population reveals major complications of depression extend beyond the brain and also impair the heart.”

The results support the need for randomized clinical trials on treatment of depression and CVD to help clarify the cause-and-effect relationship between depressive symptoms, CHD and stroke.

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About the Feinstein Institutes

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research is the research arm of Northwell Health, the largest health care provider and private employer in New York State. Home to 50 research labs, 3,000 clinical research studies and 5,000 researchers and staff, the Feinstein Institutes raises the standard of medical innovation through its five institutes of behavioral science, bioelectronic medicine, cancer, health innovations and outcomes, and molecular medicine. We make breakthroughs in genetics, oncology, brain research, mental health, autoimmunity, and are the global scientific leader in bioelectronic medicine – a new field of science that has the potential to revolutionize medicine. For more information about how we produce knowledge to cure disease, visit and follow us on LinkedIn.


Matthew Libassi


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