For heart disease patients, depression takes heavy toll

June 29, 1999

Heart disease patients suffering from depression showed more impairment in their ability to work, socialize, and perform other daily activities than patients who were not depressed, a new study conducted by scientists from the University of Washington, Seattle shows.

The scientists believe depression decreases heart disease patients' ability to function on a daily basis by amplifying their heart disease symptoms and reducing patients' interest in daily activities.

"Since coronary disease ranks behind only musculoskeletal disorders in producing activity limitations and work disability, it is important to monitor patients with coronary disease for both minor and major depression," says Mark Sullivan, M.D., head of the study.

"There has been some debate in the psychiatric literature about whether all minor depression merits treatment," says Sullivan. "Our study suggests that minor depression may be particularly important in patients who have a concurrent medical illness."

The researchers followed 157 patients with newly diagnosed coronary artery disease confirmed by angiography. Shortly after diagnosis, nurses interviewed the patients about their symptoms of depression and other mental illness as well as their ability to work and perform other daily activities. These assessments were repeated one year later.

Sullivan and his colleagues found that patients with both major and minor depression were functioning less well one year after diagnosis than were nondepressed patients. Depressed patients also reported more heart disease symptoms. These findings held even after the investigators controlled for the severity of patients' heart disease. The results of the study appear in the July-August issue of Psychosomatics.

Support for the study came from the American Heart Association, the National Institute of Mental Health and the Brookdale Foundation.
Psychosomatics, the official journal of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine, publishes peer-reviewed research and clinical experiences in the practice of medical-surgical psychiatry. For further information, contact Tom Wise, M.D., at 703-698-3626.

Posted by the Center for the Advancement of Health For information about the Center, call Petrina Chong, 202-387-2829.

Center for Advancing Health

Related Depression Articles from Brightsurf:

Children with social anxiety, maternal history of depression more likely to develop depression
Although researchers have known for decades that depression runs in families, new research from Binghamton University, State University of New York, suggests that children suffering from social anxiety may be at particular risk for depression in the future.

Depression and use of marijuana among US adults
This study examined the association of depression with cannabis use among US adults and the trends for this association from 2005 to 2016.

Maternal depression increases odds of depression in offspring, study shows
Depression in mothers during and after pregnancy increased the odds of depression in offspring during adolescence and adulthood by 70%.

Targeting depression: Researchers ID symptom-specific targets for treatment of depression
For the first time, physician-scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have identified two clusters of depressive symptoms that responded to two distinct neuroanatomical treatment targets in patients who underwent transcranial magnetic brain stimulation (TMS) for treatment of depression.

A biological mechanism for depression
Researchers report that in depressed individuals there are increased amounts of an unmodified structural protein, called tubulin, in lipid rafts compared with non-depressed individuals.

Depression in adults who are overweight or obese
In an analysis of primary care records of 519,513 UK adults who were overweight or obese between 2000-2016 and followed up until 2019, the incidence of new cases of depression was 92 per 10,000 people per year.

Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.

Which comes first: Smartphone dependency or depression?
New research suggests a person's reliance on his or her smartphone predicts greater loneliness and depressive symptoms, as opposed to the other way around.

Depression breakthrough
Major depressive disorder -- referred to colloquially as the 'black dog' -- has been identified as a genetic cause for 20 distinct diseases, providing vital information to help detect and manage high rates of physical illnesses in people diagnosed with depression.

CPAP provides relief from depression
Researchers have found that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can improve depression symptoms in patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Read More: Depression News and Depression Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to