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Is There A Link Between Depression and Heart Disease?

Is There A Link Between Depression and Heart Disease?

Depression and heart disease are the two major diseases that we face in today’s world. Both these ill health conditions are widespread among the general population. Researchers have known that these two are linked with each other.

Many people having no medical history of depression might face depression after a heart attack or after developing heart failure or any other heart disease.  Many patients with depression might also develop heart problems in their later phase of life.  

The AHA or American Heart Association stated in 2015 warning that teens suffering from depression and bipolar disorder have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease at an early stage of their life.(1)

Another study that was presented at the 66th Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology shows that patients are twice as likely to encounter death if they develop depression after being diagnosed with heart disease.(1)

Patients With Depression Are At A Greater Risk Of Developing Heart Disease

Depression is a risk factor in people for developing heart disease. People struggling with depression or individuals who are recovering from a heart attack have a reduced chance of recovery and a higher risk of death than individuals without depression.

Moreover, patients with depression can also experience certain changes in their nervous system and hormonal balance, which would result in arrhythmia or a disturbance in their heart rhythm. A combination of depression and heart damage due to a heart attack might make people more susceptible to more fatal abnormalities in heart rhythm.

It should also be noted that those who have depression might have rare sticky platelets that might cause blood clotting. In people with heart disease, this can accelerate the hardening of the arteries or atherosclerosis and also increase their chance of heart attack. Studies have shown that treating depression would make platelets less sticky.

Patients Experiencing A Heart Attack Might Get Depression

Depression is a major risk factor in patients with cardiac or heart disease. Thus the AHA or American Heart Association has recommended that all patients with heart disease must be screened for depression.(2)

Up to 15% of patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, and around 20% of individuals who have undergone coronary artery bypass graft or CABG surgery experience severe or major depression.(3)

Research has indicated that specific genetic factors might increase the risk of depression in patients and also the risk of recurrent cardiac issues after a heart attack.(4)

It must be noted that a heart attack might impact a person’s mood and attitude, might reduce their confidence level, and make them feel depressed. So, patients who might have faced a heart attack or any severe heart disease should follow a rehabilitation and recovery process that might include psychiatric and psychological support and even medication for depression.


It might not be completely clear how depression and heart disease are inter-connected, yet it is known that there is a link between these two. So, it is essential to address depression or any other mental disorder quite early to prevent the risk of experiencing heart disease and also to offer extended psychological and emotional support to people with heart disease and to safeguard them from developing depression or any other mental health issue.


Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 17, 2022

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