As if relief from the pain of depression wasn’t reward enough, it is now being shown that there are significant physical health benefits to relieving depression through talking therapies.
A study published by researchers at University College London in the European Heart Journal has shown that successfully treating depression with talking therapies also significantly benefits your health.
As the study explains, Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) are the leading cause of death and represent 32% of all deaths worldwide. People with depression are up to 72% more at risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in their lifetime.
After studying the health records of 636,955 individuals over 45 who were treated between 2012 and 2019 and then followed up after three years, they discovered that reliable improvement from depression was associated with a 12% decrease in incident risk of CVD at any given time, with similar results observed for CHD, stroke, and all-cause mortality.
The study concluded that “evidence-based psychological interventions may extend beyond psychological health and have long-term physical health benefits”.
I’m sure just having relief from the awful symptoms of depression is good enough, but it’s good to see evidence for such significant secondary health gains as well.
Céline El Baou, Roopal Desai, Claudia Cooper, Natalie L Marchant, Steve Pilling, Marcus Richards, Rob Saunders, Joshua E J Buckman, Elisa Aguirre, Amber John, Joshua Stott, Psychological therapies for depression and cardiovascular risk: evidence from national healthcare records in England, European Heart Journal, 2023;, ehad188, https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehad188
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