Did you know that depression is now considered to be an important risk factor for heart disease along with high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure?
1 in 20 American adults experience major depression in a given year but the ratio changes to 1 in 3 for people who have survived a heart attack.
A study conducted in Baltimore, MD found that of 1,551 people who were free of heart disease, those who had a history of depression were 4 times more likely than those who did not to suffer a heart attack in the next 14 years. In addition, researchers in Montreal, Canada found that heart patients who were depressed were 4 times as likely to die in the next 6 months as those who were not depressed.
The combined and separate public health impact of depression and heart disease is staggering. Depression is the estimated leading cause of disability worldwide, and heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States by a large margin – approximately 1 in 3 Americans will die of some form of heart disease.
To learn more about the link between heart disease and depression visit www.nimh.nih.gov
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