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Stress and depression can worsen heart disease

Apr
10

Date: April 10th, 2015

Psychosocial perfect storm

Stress and depression together with heart disease is a combination that can be very deadly. That is why it should be handled by people who have basic life support training and if one needs a BLS renewal, well, they should go for it too. Recently, researchers investigated what deep depression and significant stress can do on about 4500 heart disease patients and referred to the pairing as the ‘psychosocial perfect storm’.

Adults having heart disease face a very harmful effect when high depression is combined with high stress since the early period is when they are more vulnerable. The researchers said that they discovered that for the people who reported to having a high depression and high stress, they risk of experiencing another heart attack or even dying within the first two and a half years of follow up was 48 percent. However, it is worthy to note that longer follow up never showed any significant association.

According to the findings of this research, people having both depression and stress have an increased likelihood of reporting a recent crying spell. Such people also tend to get a feeling that they are facing some very overwhelming difficulties and handling personal problems is sometimes a real challenge for them.

Reducing the odds of heart attack

The researchers noted that it was possible to reduce odds of experiencing a heart attack in the future or even dying through behavioral treatments, which mainly include exercise and therapy. Depression alone or high stress alone didn’t seem to put the patient at a higher risk of dying or another heart attack. When publishing this report, the researchers analyzed data from 4487 people with heart disease who were 45 years and above. They visited the participants at their homes where they interviewed them and asked them how often they felt sad, depressed or lonely or even had crying spells in the past week.

In addition, the researchers asked them the difficulties they experienced while trying to control things that were important in their lives or possibly felt overwhelmed with the situation. They also asked them if they had felt confidence and manage handling their personal problems or even felt that at last things were heading to the right direction within the past month. Within the six years period that the research team followed the patients, 1337 of the participants either suffered a heart attack or died. Those having serious depression and stress were found that their risk factor was 48% much higher compared to those who never felt emotionally drained during the period.

Previously, stress and depression have been linked to causing heart disease and also non fatal and fatal heart attacks as well as strokes among both men and women who already have heart disease. However, the study didn’t find the cause and effect relationship that could link heart disease, depression and stress with increasing the risk of heart attack or even dying.

 

 

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