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19.11.09 can be as deadly as smoking.

This finding is based on a unique link between a survey of over 60,000 people and a comprehensive mortality database.

Researchers from University of Bergen (Norway) and Institute of Psychiatry (IoP) at King's College in London have found that mortality risk increased almost equally among depressed people and smokers. Stewart, who led the research team at IoP, said that 'more attention should be paid to this link (depression) because the association persisted after adjusting for many other factors.

'One of the main messages from this research is that 'a little anxiety may be good for you,' Stewart pointed out.

Significantly, the study also shows that patients with depression face an overall increased risk of mortality, while a combination of depression and anxiety lowering mortality, said an IoP release.

'It appears we're talking about two risk groups here. People with very high levels of anxiety symptoms may be naturally more vulnerable due to stress for example.

'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 may be people who tend to take risks. This would explain the higher mortality,' said Stewart.


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