A new study has found that anti-depressant drugs may have an additional health benefit as they could improve the cardiovascular condition by lowering risks of heart disease.
The study was conducted by the researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City.
For the study, the researchers closely analyzed the health information gathered from over 5,300 residents of Utah who were diagnosed with moderate to severe depression.
The anti-depressants lowered the risk of stroke, heart disease and even death by 53 percent among the participants during the three-year long study in comparison to those not taking such anti-depressant or cholesterol-lowering statin drugs.
The researchers found that the intake of statins either by alone or with antidepressants did not remarkably lower such risks.
Heidi May, study lead author and cardiovascular epidemiologist, said, “We thought we’d see an additive effect that said taking both medications would lower the risk more than either drug alone. But we discovered that in the more depressed people, the antidepressant really was what made the biggest difference.”
According to the researchers, the antidepressant therapy did not improve the health of heart of people having little or no depression. However, it had a remarkable health effect on those people who were diagnosed with more severe depression.
The study, however, could not prove a cause-and-effect association between the antidepressant use and heart risk cut. But the researchers asserted that depression remains a recognized risk factor for causing heart disease.
According to the health experts, depression patients face at least two times the risk of developing cardiovascular ailment in comparison to those who are not suffering from depression.
The figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show an estimated one in 10 American adults suffer from depression.