A recent study showed depression to cause same amount of harm to the heart as cholesterol and hypertension. These results were published in the journal Atherosclerosis.
The common risk factor associated with a healthy heart includes smoking, high cholesterol and obesity. But a recent study conducted in Germany showed depression to be at a greater risk of developing heart diseases when compared to the other factors.
The study was conducted on 3428 European men between the age group of 45 to 74 years. The subjects were followed-up for a period of 10 years. Death due to cardiovascular disease was associated with 5 major reasons such as obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking.
Depression was associated with two cardiovascular risk factors which included smoking and high blood pressure. The cardiovascular deaths associated with depression included smoking (17-20%) and high blood pressure(30-34%) of the total deaths.
Depression associated with mood symptoms, anxiety and fatigue accounted to 15% of the cardiovascular deaths. High cholesterol and obesity showed 8 to 21% of the total deaths.
There is a growing focus on mental health and depression in treating cardiovascular diseases. Since depressed people tend to exercise less, over-eat and skip medications, it is necessary to maintain a good mental health to have a healthy heart.