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New Study Highlights How Depression and Heart Health May Be Linked

What to know: A new study provided further evidence that your mental and physical health are linked. The study, which was conducted by researchers in Canada, tracked depression symptoms and heart issues across more than 145,000 participants from 21 countries.

The risk of heart issues and death increased by 20% in people with four or more depressive symptoms compared to those without. The risk was higher in urban areas than in rural areas, and higher for males compared to females. According to a Simon Fraser University press release, it is important that this research be taken seriously in light of the current global health crisis.

The results are timely as experts anticipate an increase in the number of people dealing with mental health issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. — Scott Lear, study co-author and Simon Fraser University health sciences professor

The Frontlines: Research showing how mental health and physical health are linked isn’t new.

  • Nearly one in 12 adults in the U.S. have depression, which can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, digestive issues and decreased pain tolerance
  • A 2018 study conducted by researchers in Taiwan found that those with asthma or allergies were more likely to develop depression, suggesting an immune system-depression link
  • Researchers in the new study highlighted that mental health screenings should be as routine as asking about smoking or high blood pressure when scanning for heart risk

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A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Jazz K, shared her experience living with more than one mental illness and instilled that there is hope. “You are not alone in this journey, and you absolutely do not deserve to be subjected to any of this. There are people researching every day, new modes of therapy are being tested and new medications are coming out.” You can submit your first person story, too.

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Other things to know: If you’re struggling with your mental health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, know you’re not alone. These Mighty articles may help: 

More helpful thinking: And if you’re not sure where to start to reach out for help for your mental health, these resources may help:

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