Depression and Stress make condition of Heart Patients even Worse

Depression and Stress make Heart Diseases even Worse

Heart experts usually recommend people to avoid fatty diet to reduce the risk of heart diseases. However, a new study has revealed that heart health is further exacerbated by stress and depression. Published in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, the study has claimed that stress and depression have a great potential to cause serious damage to your heart.

The study saw researchers examining 5,000 people with coronary heart disease aged 45 years and older. The researchers collected information from the participants on their symptoms of depression and stress through examinations on questionnaires that were conducted from 2003 and 2007.

Nearly 6% of participants reported high level of stress levels and high depression. After a follow up for six years, the researchers recorded deaths of 1,337 study participants due to a heart attack.

"The increase in risk accompanying high stress and high depressive symptoms was robust and consistent across demographics, medical history, medication use and health risk behaviors", the study's lead author, Carmela Alcantara, associate research scientist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, said in a statement.

The researchers found no increased risk of death or heart attack in people who had high stress or high depressive symptoms, but no other symptom of heart disease at the same time.

The study suggested that the risk of heart attack and death is increased by high levels of stress combined with depression. The researchers concluded that patients with both conditions are 48% more likely to suffer a heart attack or die than people with low depression or stress.

People in early vulnerability period of heart disease are particularly at higher risk of suffering harm from the combination of high depression symptoms and high stress, said the lead author, Carmelia Alcantara of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City.