Chart of heart attack risk in depressed patients and patients with Major Depression Disorder

Depression is one of the most common psychiatric conditions. This disorder leads to lack of interests in activities and a consistent gloomy mood, which impacts one’s daily life. In the United States, there are many cases of Major Depression and other depressive disorders.

Unlike disorders such as Migraine Headaches or Strokes, depression is not a discrete “one or zero” condition. Rather, it encompasses a diverse spectrum of symptoms. Major Depressive Disorder is the most well known disorder, however there are multiple disorders that also involve depressed moods.

What is cardiac mortality and how does depression relate to it?

The cardiac mortality represents a patient’s ongoing risk of passing away from a heart condition. Many have suspected in the past that that depression contributes to cardiac mortality. However, this has been difficult to verify scientifically.

In 2001, a landmark study covering 2847 men and women between ages 55 and 85 found that depression can significantly increase the risk of a heart attack. Patients with minor depression saw a 60% higher risk of a heart attack compared to non-depressed patients. The patients that were diagnosed with major depression had three times the risk for a heart attack compared to the patients with no depression.

Chart of heart attack risk in depressed patients and patients with Major Depression Disorder

The chart above depicts the relationship between the number of depression symptoms in a patient, and the risk of a heart attack. The more symptoms of depression a patient has, the higher their risk of a heart attack. As seen in the right-most bar, a patient with the highest category of depression symptoms studied has approximately triple the risk of a heart attack compared to non-depressed patients. This graph only depicts data based on patients with cardiac disease. Patients without cardiac disease showed a similar risk pattern.

Top 10 Symptoms of Depression

The Top 10 Symptoms of Depression

As shown in the above study, depression is a serious condition. It can have a dramatic effect on both your mental well-being and your physical well-being.

There is a lot of misinformation as to what constitutes depression. We have summarized the top 10 symptoms of depression above to provide a better picture of what depression is.

If you find that you have any of the symptoms, along with a depressed mood or loss of interest, consider talking to a professional. They are great treatments and great therapies that can get you better.