Features January 2008 Issue

Treat Depression to Help Your Heart

Treatment for depression is vital for greater improvement in heart rate variability and a decreased risk of death after a cardiac event.

There’s no denying that people who suffer from depression can have a harder time recovering after a cardiac event. "Research on depression and cardiac functioning has shown that depression is an independent risk factor for new and recurrent cardiac events: heart failure, angina, stroke, myocardial infarction (heart attack), and mortality," says Beth G. Dixon, PsyD, a psychologist at Cleveland Clinic. "Some studies even have found that depression carries a greater risk for recurrent cardiac events than high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and smoking."

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