How Depression Can Increase Risk of Heart Disease?

How Depression Can Increase Risk of Heart Disease?

dr vanita blog dateAugust 30, 2022 | 3 minutes read time

Depression is a disease that affects the mind and body, often leading to a variety of symptoms, including anxiety, low mood, loss of interest in activities, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating. Many people, however, do not know that depression can increase the risk of developing heart disease.

In this article, the top cardiologist in Delhi explains the correlation between depression and heart disease.

How is Depression and Heart Disease Connected?

It’s a two-way street. People with depression are more likely to resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as eating comfort food, smoking, alcohol abuse, being a couch potato and reducing physical activity.

All of these coping mechanisms are risk factors for heart disease and heart attack. Moreover, it’s been found that people with depression tend to have sticky platelets, the cells responsible for blood clotting.

This can cause arteries to harden and elevate the patient’s chance of heart attack, the best heart specialist in Delhi says.

Not just depression, people with other mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic stress are more likely to develop a heart disease.

Such mental health disorders have physiologic effects, including heightened cortisol (stress hormone) levels, reduced blood flow to their heart, metabolic disease, and increased cardiac reactivity (i.e., elevated blood pressure and heart rate).

Can Heart Disease Cause Depression?

It can, which is why it’s a two-way relationship between depression and heart disease. People with no diagnosed history of depression can develop it after suffering a heart attack, the leading cardiologist in Delhi reveals.

A person who has recently developed heart failure or experienced heart attack goes through the following symptoms during the treatment or recovery phase:

● sense of uncertainty regarding the future

● changes in mood and attitude

● drop in confidence in one’s ability to perform day-to-day roles and responsibilities as a mother, father, son, daughter, or employee

● feelings of guilt for not taking care of their health in the past that might have led to heart disease or heart attack

● self-doubt due to limited physical capabilities

Because of these reasons, many heart attack survivors develop depression even with no previous history of the debilitating mental disorder, Dr. Vanita clarifies.

What’s certain is that both heart disease and depression often occur together, the top heart specialist in Delhi says. Therefore, it’s extremely important to seek help for your heart health as well as for your mind.

That includes:

● Cardiac rehabilitation: Your doctor will devise a cardiac rehabilitation program if you’ve suffered a heart attack. The program may involve a nutrition plan, exercise plan, and medication.

● Treatment for depression: This form of support includes behavioural therapy and guidance of a psychologist or psychiatrist.

● Social support: Both depression and heart disease can cause patients to withdraw from social life. It’s important to make an extra effort to socialise and re-engage with your friends which is a crucial part of recovery. 

And that explains the correlation between heart disease and depression.

Talk to Dr. Vanita Dr. Vanita is a leading authority in treating heart diseases and heart attacks. One of the top cardiologists in the country, she has helped several patients recover over the years. To consult her, fill this form or send an email to Alternatively, dial this number: +91 9873879994.

OPD details

    Dr. Vanita Arora is Senior Consultant Cardiac Electrophysiologist & Interventional Cardiologist at Apollo Hospital, Delhi. She has been a successful Cardiologist in India for the last 28 years. She is a DNB Cardiology, MD - Medicine, M.B.B.S . You can visit her at Apollo Hospital, Delhi. To book an appointment online with Dr. Vanita Arora - the best cardiologist in India, please contact us.

  • Apollo Hospital, Mathura Road, New Delhi

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Unrestricted license to practice medicine anywhere in India. Registration No.15123 Delhi Medical Council, Delhi, lndia

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