Can Treating Depression Mitigate CVD Risk?


  • Researchers analyzed health insurance claims from more than 4 million Japanese patients filed between 2005 and 2022.
  • Participants were 18-75 (median age, 44) without a history of CVD or stroke, heart failure, or atrial fibrillation.
  • Investigators followed participants for a mean period of 2.5-3.5 years to observe the number of CVD events in those who had a diagnosis of depression.
  • During the follow-up period, there were 119,000 CVD events in men (14 per 10,000 person-years) and 61,800 CVD events in women (111 per 10,000 person-years).


  • Compared with women without depression, those with depression had a 64% higher risk for CVD (hazard ratio [HR], 1.64), while men with depression had a 39% higher risk for CVD vs their counterparts without depression (HR, 1.39; < .001).
  • This association was significant even after controlling for various factors such as body mass index, diabetes, smoking, alcohol consumption, and physical inactivity.
  • Investigators offered several theories about the increased risk for CVD in women with depression, including how depression during hormonal shifts can contribute to a greater impact on cardiovascular health.