Heart Disease and Depression Go Hand in Hand
The number of people in the U.S. diagnosed with heart disease in 2010 is expected to rise from 5 to 12 million new cases by the year 2030. The stress heart disease patients undergo because of frequent doctor visits, financial responsibilities due to medical costs and the strain on relationship is what likely leads to depression.
Similarly, depression is also on the rise. Statistics show that nearly one in every 10 Americans suffer from depression. Supporting the Reuter report is the fact that in the United States, the states that have high numbers of depression and mental illness also report increased numbers in negative physical health problems, such as obesity and heart disease.
The study from University Heart Center in Hamburg created an experiment to test whether or not people with heart disease reported a higher percentage of depression. The results showed that though there wasn’t a large discrepancy between the two, those with heart disease and depression did report their depression was more severe than those without heart problems.
Ironically, depression may come full circle and has been linked to health problems. Depressed individuals are less likely to live healthy lifestyles compared to those who do not suffer from depression. Furthermore, depressed people are less likely to seek medical treatment. So not only are they not leading healthier lives, they’re susceptible to becoming more depressed because they lack the ability to think positively about treatment outcomes.
Further supporting a possible link between heart disease and depression is the fact that both illnesses are found in women ages 40-60, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, and the National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute.
A known cause for heart disease is obesity. One fact that supports a link between heart disease and depression is that research has found that people who are obese are 20-44 percent more likely to become depressed than those of a healthy weight.
Treating depression along with heart disease may help patients feel more optimistic about their treatment and aid in their overall attitude towards living a healthier lifestyle. Studies such as the one from Germany have led doctors to also treat known depression issues with their heart patients.