Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist, maintains a psychotherapy practice in Rockville, Maryland. Having practiced for more than 30 years, Uzi Ben-Ami, Ph.D. has experience treating clients with depression.
According to research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in October of 2017, depression correlates to an increased risk of early death. This holds true for men and is increasingly true for women, as reported in the 60-year Stirling County Study. The study, which began in 1952 in the Atlantic coastal provinces of Canada, evaluated data from participants in the periods from 1952 to 1967, 1968 to 1990, and 1991 to 2011.
Statistics revealed a connection between depression and increased mortality risk in men for all three periods. However, when analyzing data from female participants, researchers found the same correlation only from 1992 through 2011. Some researchers speculated that this change might be related to an increase in the expectations and responsibilities placed on women in recent decades.
For both genders, suicide and other unnatural causes accounted for only a small percentage of deaths. This suggests that the increased risk of mortality is more likely attributable to an increased susceptibility to disease among individuals with depression. Researchers believe that this correlation may be attributable to a diminished ability of patients with depression to maintain healthy lifestyles or to manage chronic health conditions once they arise.
The data does show that treatment for depression may lead to better management of illness. Researchers assert that this knowledge should serve as a motivator for primary care physicians to perform regular depression screenings as part of standard preventive care, particularly for patients who have a history of clinical depression.