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Low obesity rate keeps heart attacks down in MN, despite high depression

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Low obesity and diabetes levels mean that Minnesota residents have fewer heart attacks than the national average, but high levels of depression could be contributing to those who do have one.

In a report released on Wednesday, Gallup ranks Minnesota 15th in the nationl for having the fewest heart attacks in 2014, with 3.6 percent of residents having a history of heart attack.

That's lower than the 3.9 percent national rate, and could be because Minnesota has lower numbers of people with high blood pressure (fourth lowest overall) and diabetes (10th lowest overall).

Minnesota also has lower than average obesity levels, ranking ninth out of all the states, but it could potentially drop places in this category in future reports.

This is because a national obesity report released in September suggested that Minnesota is one of only five states that has seen an increase in obesity levels in the past year.

The state also ranked poorly in the Gallup poll for people who suffer from depression, at 30th overall.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, depression has been linked with heart issues, namely angina and heart attacks. Although the reason for this link isn't clear, the organization says, it's noted that the mental illness reduces overall physical and mental health, increasing the risk of heart complications.

It can also lead to fatigue or "feelings of worthlessness" that lead to medication or symptoms of heart attack being ignored, as well as increasing risk of death after a heart attack.

More broadly, the Gallup study found that people who have had a heart attack are more likely to be obese, more likely to smoke, less likely to exercise and more likely to have high blood pressure.

Those who have had heart attacks, meanwhile, say they are "less likely to like what they do each day," and are twice as likely to have had at least two days where their poor health prevents them from doing their usual day-to-day activities.

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