ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Local researchers say they have found another big risk factor for cardiac disease and they want the American Heart Association to add it to the list that now includes obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking: it’s depression.
“It is a risk factor meaning that if you are depressed and you’ve had acute coronary syndrome, that you are much more likely to die or have a second heart attack,” says Washington University psychiatrist Robert Carney.
“Unfortunately, even though we now firmly believe that depression should be considered a risk factor, we don’t know whether treating depression will necessarily improve the outcome of these patients.”
Carney is set to begin a new clinical trial to evaluate whether a different approach can be more successful in alleviating depression and lowering the risk of future cardiac events.
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