The Link Between Depression and Heart Disease

Did you know there is a link between depression and heart disease? The mind is a powerful thing; it’s connected to your entire body, so it’s no wonder that when it’s not doing well it can have harmful, physical affects on other parts of the body.  Both depression and heart disease are often interconnected and can occur together.

One study from the 1990s followed people with coronary artery disease over a 12-month period. This study found that whether or not a patient had a major depressive disorder was a predictor for future cardiac events. Depression’s effects on the heart were as strong as smoking. In other studies, the death rates from cardiac events were correlated to those who had depression and higher rates of arrhythmias.

One in three patients who have had a heart attack will experience depression in the first year following the attack. Depression is more common in women than in men. About 1 in 5 people who have a heart attack experience depression shortly thereafter. Diagnoses of depression do increase a person’s chance of heart problems. People with depression but who don’t have heart disease have been known to develop heart disease at a higher rate than the general population.

If diagnosed with depression, a person can be properly treated with antidepressants which can help both their head and heart. People with depression following a heart attack have a lower chance of recovery and a higher risk of death than those without depression, so it’s essential to diagnose these mental health symptoms and treat them properly.

Positive mental health can truly have a good effect on the body through behavioral and lifestyle choices and changes that help the heart. People who properly take their medications, have a positive attitude, and follow healthy habits daily (diet and exercise) will experience a positive effect on health and lower their risk for heart disease.

It’s important for doctors to properly treat patients who are exhibiting signs of depression before or after a heart attack, so they can lead a happier, healthier life.

If you have heart disease or depression, talk to your doctor today about your heart and mental health options. If you’re looking for a heart valve surgeon to correct your heart valve disease, Dr. Peter Mikhail is a heart valve surgeon who specializes in mitral valve surgery and TAVR. To book a consult, click here or call 727-312-4844. He is based in New Port Richey, Florida, and treats patients in the Tampa and Clearwater areas.

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