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Younger Women with Mental Health Issues Prone to Heart Disease

Young woman depressed

Younger Women with Mental Issues Prone to Heart Disease

Past studies reveal that women are naturally less likely to suffer from heart disease than men. However, for young women living with mental illnesses like anxiety and depression, their heart disease risk increases and becomes similar to men’s.

And this is quite concerning because the rate of mental health issues has increased in recent times, especially since the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, since women are considered relatively "safe" when it comes to heart problems, few go for checkups.

The bottom line is that more women may be exposed to severe cardiovascular problems later in life, as there's no early diagnosis or intervention.

"We often feel that young women are the 'safe group' with regards to cardiovascular disease because the incidence of cardiovascular disease is quite low due to the protective effects of estrogen in this group, "said Giovanni Civieri, MD, a cardiologist. "But this study suggests that if a younger woman has depression or anxiety, we should start screening for cardiovascular risk factors to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease."

The study discovered that out of 71,212 people analyzed, 38% of them developed high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and/or diabetes within 10 years. And those who had experienced anxiety or depression before the study were about 55% more likely to develop at least one of these issues. The study also found that younger women (below 50) had almost twice the risk of going through this dynamic.

What you can do

If you're a young or middle-aged woman battling depression or anxiety, you can see there's so much at stake. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can regain control and improve your quality of life, not just for now but also for your later years. You don't want to live with regrets over what you could have done differently when the time comes.

First, you'll need to address the mental health issues by speaking with a licensed mental health provider near you.

Also, prioritize your health by going for checkups: blood pressure, cholesterol level, etc.

Your older self will be glad you did.

Begin your journey to better mental health by contacting us today.

Author
Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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