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Depression pandemic and cardiovascular risk in the COVID-19 era and long COVID syndrome: gender makes a difference

  • Bucciarelli, Valentina1
  • Nasi, Milena2
  • Bianco, Francesco1
  • Seferovic, Jelena3
  • Ivkovic, Vladimir4
  • Gallina, Sabina5
  • Mattioli, Anna Vittoria2
  • 1 Department of Pediatrics and Congenital Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology, Ospedali Riuniti, Ancona, Italy
  • 2 Department of Surgery, Medicine, Dentistry and Morphological Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy; National Institute for Cardiovascular Research - INRC, Bologna, Italy
  • 3 Cardiovascular Division, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
  • 4 & Harvard Medical School
  • 5 Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, "G. D'Annunzio" University, Chieti, Italy
Published Article
Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Publication Date
Oct 05, 2021
DOI: 10.1016/j.tcm.2021.09.009
PMCID: PMC8490128
PubMed Central
  • Article


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a significant interplay between cardiovascular disease (CVD), COVID-19 related inflammatory status, and depression. Cardiovascular (CV) injury is responsible for a substantial percentage of COVID-19 deaths while COVID-19 social restrictions emerged as a non-negligible risk factor for CVD as well as a variety of mental health issues, and in particular, depression. Inflammation seems to be a shared condition between these two disorders. Gender represents a potential modifying factor both in CVD and depression, as well as in COVID-19 short- and long-term outcomes, particularly in cases involving long-term COVID complications. Results from emerging studies indicate that COVID-19 pandemic affected male and female populations in different ways. Women seem to experience less severe short-term complications but suffer worse long-term COVID complications, including depression, reduced physical activity, and deteriorating lifestyle habits, all of which may impact CV risk. Here, we summarize the current state of knowledge about the interplay between COVID-19, depression, and CV risk in women.

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