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 Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

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: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Don't Give the Slightest Chance to Toxic Elements in Medicinal Products

23.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Sensitive grip

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

No compromises: Combining the benefits of 3D printing and casting

23.03.2018 | Process Engineering

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>