Is Depression as Dangerous as Smoking?
November 17, 2009
Research suggests that people with insomnia have a ten-fold risk of developing depression compared with those who sleep well. Now a new study by researchers at King's College London has found that depression can be as dangerous to your health as smoking. After analyzing the results of a survey of over 60,000 people and a comprehensive mortality database, the researchers discovered that four years after the survey, people who were depressed had a similar mortality risk to people who smoked. The study also found that while patients with depression face a higher mortality risk, patients with a combination of depression and anxiety had lower mortality risks. Dr. Robert Stewart, who led the research team, said in a press release, "People with very high levels of anxiety symptoms may be naturally more vulnerable due to stress," adding, "On the other hand, people who score very low on anxiety measures, i.e. those who deny any symptoms at all, may be people who also tend not to seek help for physical conditions, or they may be people who tend to take risks."
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