Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Symptoms of depression may worsen heart failure


New research suggests that depression may hasten the progression of heart disease by increasing the levels of a key protein that causes inflammation.

In a study of 32 people with heart failure, the 14 patients who felt the most depressed had nearly twice the levels of this protein in their blood.

The protein, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), is one member of a large family of proteins called cytokines, chemical messengers that are mobilized when the body is injured or has an infection. These cytokines often cause inflammation in their effort to repair an injured or infected area of the body. In the case of heart failure, this inflammation makes it even more difficult for the heart to pump blood. (Heart failure is a disease in which the heart loses the ability to pump blood with normal efficiency.)

“People with heart failure typically have much higher TNF-alpha levels than people without the disease,” said Amy Ferketich, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of public health at Ohio State .

“But depression seems to make levels of this cytokine even higher, which is bad for patients.”

The study’s results appear in a recent issue of the American Heart Journal. Ferketich worked with Ohio State colleagues Jeanette Pohorence Ferguson, a graduate student in pathology, and Philip Binkley, a professor of internal medicine.

They recruited 32 patients from the heart failure clinic at Ohio State . The participants answered the 21-question Beck Depression Inventory, a tool that physicians and scientists use to measure symptoms of depression. Answers to each question are given a value of zero (no symptoms at all) to 3 (severe symptoms). A score of 10 or more suggests that a patient has at least mild symptoms of depression.

The researchers drew blood samples from each patient. From these samples they evaluated levels of three cytokines: TNF-alpha, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). Previous research by other scientists has shown that the three cytokines, which all cause inflammation, are elevated in patients with heart failure.

Indeed, all of the patients in the study had higher-than-normal levels of each cytokine. However, TNF-alpha was still markedly higher in patients who reported feeling depressed on a regular basis.

“We were surprised to find that this wasn’t the case for the other two cytokines,” Ferketich said. “That suggests that something about depression may trigger the production of TNF-alpha.”

The researchers measured cytokine levels in picograms, or trillionths of a gram. Patients with scores of 10 or higher on the BDI had levels of TNF-alpha nearly twice that of patients with a score less than 10 (4.9 pg/ml vs. 2.7 pg/ml.)

Levels of the other two cytokines were similar for depressed and non-depressed patients: 5.9 pg/ml vs. 5.1 pg/ml for IL-6 and 4.4 pg/ml and 3.6 pg/ml for IL-1beta, respectively.

Other researchers estimate that anywhere from 24 to 42 percent of heart failure patients also suffer from depression.

“Depression clearly raises the levels of one cytokine, which plays a role in increasing inflammation,” Ferketich said. “What we don’t know for sure is if depression causes the inflammation which may lead to heart failure or if heart failure causes depression which accelerates inflammation.”

A study at Duke University found that patients with major depression are twice as likely to die or to be re-admitted to the hospital a second time within 12 months.

“Patients with heart disease are prone to developing depression,” Ferketich said. “Physicians need to pay more attention to this. But research still needs to be done to find out if treating patients with anti-depressants would help to actually slow the progression of heart disease.”

The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Amy Ferketich | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>