Depression treatment decreases heart attack risk

counseled.jpg

Treatment of depression before any apparent signs of cardiovascular disease can decrease the risk of future heart attacks and strokes by almost half.

Treat the risk factor before it causes problems

“Previous studies we and other have conducted indicate that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. But past depression treatment studies involving cardiac patients have not shown the anticipated cardiovascular benefits so we asked ourselves, what if we treated depression before the onset of cardiovascular disease? Could that cut the risk of heart attack and stroke? Our results suggest that the answer is yes,” noted Dr. Jesse C. Stewart, PhD, associate professor of psychology in the School of Science at IUPUI and affiliated scientist of the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.

48% lower risk of heart attack

The research followed 235 clinically depressed patients who were randomly assigned to standard care or a program involving antidepressants and psychotherapy. Among the 168 patients with no history of cardiovascular disease, those who received medication and therapy had a 48% lower risk of heart attack or stroke over the next 8 years than the standard care group. Collaborative care had no effect on the risk factor for the 67 patients who had identified cardiovascular disease.

Depression treatment as new approach

“Lifestyle changes – such as stopping smoking – and blood pressure and cholesterol medications are important approaches to decreasing risk of heart attacks and strokes. Our findings, if confirmed in a larger clinical trial, could provide an important new approach – depression treatment – to preventing cardiovascular events,” explained Dr. Stewart.

Reducing disability and death

“In the near future, depression treatment may play an important role in reducing disability and death due to cardiovascular disease,” concluded Dr. Stewart.

Source: MedicalNewsToday, Psychosomatic Medicine

 
disclaimer

The information provided on the PsyWeb.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of PsyWeb.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

PsyWeb Poll

Are you currently taking or have you ever been prescribed anti-depressants?
Yes
50%
No
50%
Total votes: 3978