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Heart Attack Ups Spouses Risk of Depression, Anxiety, and Suicide

Posted Oct 02 2012 10:22pm
Posted on Oct. 1, 2012, 6 a.m. in Cardio-Vascular Behavior Depression

Spouses of people who have a sudden heart attack are at increased risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide, even if their partner survives, according to Danish researchers. Dr Fosbøl, a cardiology research fellow at Duke University Medical Center at the time the study was conducted, and colleagues found that more than 3-times the number of people whose spouses died from an AMI were using antidepressants in the year after the event compared with the year before. Furthermore, nearly 50-times as many spouses used a benzodiazepine (anti-anxiety drug) after the event compared to before. Antidepressant use was also higher in those whose spouse had survived an AMI, with antidepressant use being 17% higher after the event. However, antidepressant use remained unchanged in spouses of patients surviving a non-AMI related condition. The study also showed that suicide was slightly more common in people who had lost a spouse to a fatal AMI or whose spouse survived an AMI than in those with spouses who died from, or survived, a non-AMI-condition. Men were found to be significantly more likely to suffer depression and commit suicide after an event than women. The researchers believe that the sudden and unexpected nature of an AMI is the cause of psychological problems in their spouse. "If your partner dies suddenly from a heart attack, you have no time to prepare psychologically for the death, whereas if someone is ill with, for example, cancer, there is more time to grow used to the idea," said Dr Fosbøl. "The larger psychological impact of a sudden loss is similar to post-traumatic stress disorder." The researchers concluded: “Spouses of those who experience AMIs-both fatal and non-fatal-are at elevated risk for psychological consequences; therefore, the care needs of AMI patients and their spouses need to be considered.”

Fosbøl EL, Peterson ED, Weeke P, Wang TY, Mathews R, Kober L, Thomas L, Gislason GH, Torp-Pedersen C. Spousal depression, anxiety, and suicide after myocardial infarction. Eur Heart J. 2012 Aug 21.

  
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46. Hormone Health: DHEA
Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the most abundant hormone in the human body. It is involved in the manufacture of testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and corticosterone. The decline of DHEA with age parallels that of HGH (see Tip 43), so by the age of 65, our bodies make only 10 to 20% of what they did at age 20.
  DHEA supplementation has been shown in various clinical studies to enhance the immune response against infection. It also has been reported to be valuable against cancer, coronary artery disease, and osteoporosis. DHEA also increases muscle mass and reduces fat mass...
 
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