Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Panel recommends listing depression as a risk for heart disease

Date:
February 24, 2014
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
A panel of experts is recommending that depression be added to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking as a cardiac risk factor. A 12-person panel of experts made the recommendation to the American Heart Association (AHA). The group sifted through hundreds of studies looking at the link between depression and heart problems. Most of the studies found that depression made people more likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease.

An extensive review of scientific literature indicates that depression should be added to the list of risk factors associated with heart disease. Others include obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.

A 12-person panel of experts that included Robert M. Carney, PhD, and Kenneth E. Freedland, PhD, both professors of psychiatry at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, made the recommendation to the American Heart Association (AHA).

Their findings are published online as a scientific statement in the journal Circulation.

The group sifted through hundreds of studies looking at the link between depression and heart problems. Most of the studies found that depression made people more likely to have a heart attack or die from heart disease.

"The findings didn't surprise us," said Carney. "Many studies have reported that depression predicts increased mortality, but it's rare to delve into this kind of research as deeply and as carefully as we have. Although we suspected we would find this link, having gone through all of these studies and conducted such a careful evaluation, we are more confident than ever that depression is a risk factor for mortality in people who have heart disease."

Carney and Freedland were chosen to be part of the expert panel because they have been studying depression's effects on heart disease for more than 25 years, first reporting in 1988 that depression predicts an increased risk of cardiac problems in patients with existing heart disease. Hundreds of studies have been conducted since then, and most have supported their initial observation.

Carney noted that when people lose weight, lower their blood pressure or quit smoking, their risk of heart disease is lowered. But so far, no studies have shown that treating depression lowers cardiac risk.

"Unfortunately, very few studies have looked at that question," Carney explained. "And only one study has included enough subjects to determine whether treating depression could lower the risk of having a heart attack or dying from heart disease. Treatment did not lower the risk of heart attack or death, but that was the first study of its kind. More clinical trials are needed to identify treatments that may improve heart health along with depression."

Part of the problem is that the available treatments don't work for everyone. Even the best therapies for depression lead to remission in only about one of every two depressed patients.

But Carney and Freedland are set to begin a new clinical trial to evaluate whether a different approach to treatment can be more successful in alleviating depression and lowering the risk of future cardiac events.

"We believe better depression treatments may improve survival," Carney said. "More effective treatments certainly will improve a patient's quality of life. More research will be needed, though, before we can say treating depression can improve heart health or survival in patients with heart disease."

What is known with certainty at this point, he said, is that not treating depression can have negative effects on health and quality of life.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. J. H. Lichtman, E. S. Froelicher, J. A. Blumenthal, R. M. Carney, L. V. Doering, N. Frasure-Smith, K. E. Freedland, A. S. Jaffe, E. C. Leifheit-Limson, D. S. Sheps, V. Vaccarino, L. Wulsin. Depression as a Risk Factor for Poor Prognosis Among Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome: Systematic Review and Recommendations: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation, 2014; DOI: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000019

Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "Panel recommends listing depression as a risk for heart disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224171141.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2014, February 24). Panel recommends listing depression as a risk for heart disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224171141.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "Panel recommends listing depression as a risk for heart disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140224171141.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins