Recent studies have shown that as many as 65% of people who have a heart attack feel depressed. Women who have been depressed before and people who feel alone, without emotional support are at a higher risk for feeling depressed after a heart attack. Two new studies have shown that women are more likely to experience chronic depression after suffering a heart attack and lead lives of poorer quality following their treatments.
Being depressed can make it harder for a patient to recover. People that are quickly able to get back to their usual routines seem to experience less depression.
Can heart disease trigger depression or depression trigger heart disease?
Either of the above may be true, one thing seems clear. The two often go hand in hand, therefore controlling one may help control the other.
According to The American Academy of Family Physicians, research has shown that people who are depressed and have pre-existing cardiovascular disease have a 3.5 times greater risk of dying of a heart attack than patients with heart disease who are not depressed. As well, in a recent study, depression was shown to be associated with an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease in men and women. Depression was shown to increase mortality related to coronary heart disease in men but had no effect on mortality in women.
Ask your doctor about using lifestyle changes like avoiding alcohol, illegal drugs, smoking, starting a regular exercise program, eating a balanced diet, reducing stress and getting sufficient rest to fight heart disease and depression.