Healthy Heart Reports
Depression And Heart Attacks
Several recent studies were reported in the media
showing that depression causes heart attacks and strokes (8), and some doctors recommend that depressed heart attack victims be placed on antidepressants (10).
The data show only that depressed people are more likely to suffer heart attacks and strokes (7, 8). Nobody has demonstrated that depression causes heart attacks. Data show that lack of omega-3 fatty acids in deep-water fish, whole grains, beans and seeds causes depression (1,2,3,4) and lack of omega-3 fatty acids also causes depression (5). Lack of omega-3 fatty acids causes sticky platelets that causes clots to block arteries and cause heart attacks and people who are depressed have sticky platelets (6). Since heart attack victims who are depressed are more likely to develop irregular heart beats (9), some doctors recommend that depressed heart attack victims take antidepressants (10). We need more research to know why depressed people are at increased risk for heart attacks.
1) C B. Nemeroff, D Musselman, MD. Emory. Archives of General Psychiatry April, 1999.;56:381.
2) Edwards R, Peet M, Shay J, Horrobin D. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid levels in the diet and in red blood cell membranes of depressed patients. J Affect Disord. 1998;48:149-155.
3) Adams PB, Lawson S, Sanigorski A, Sinclair AJ. Arachidonic acid to eicosapentaenoic acid ratio in blood correlates positively with clinical symptoms of depression. Lipids. 1996;31:S-157-161.
4) Maes M, Smith R, Christophe A, Cosyns P, Desnyder R, Meltzer H. Fatty acid composition in major depression: decreased omega 3 fractions in cholesteryl esters and increased C20:4 omega-6/C20:5 omega-3 ratio in cholesteryl esters and phospholipids. J Affect Disord. 1996;38:35-46.
5) Musselman DL, Evans DL, Nemeroff CB. The relationship of depression to cardiovascular disease: epidemiology, biology, and treatment. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55:580-592.
6) CB Nemeroff, DL Musselman. Are platelets the link between depression and ischemic heart disease? American Heart Journal, 2000, Vol 140, Iss 4, Suppl. S, pp 557-562.
7) CM OConnor, PA Gurbel, VI Serebruany. Depression and ischemic heart disease. American Heart Journal, 2000, Vol 140, Iss 4, Suppl. S, pp 563-569.
8) KRR Krishnan. Depression as a contributing factor in cerebrovascular disease. American Heart Journal, 2000, Vol 140, Iss 4, Suppl. S, pp 570-576.
9) JM Gorman, RP Sloan. Heart rate variability in depressive and anxiety disorders. American Heart Journal, 2000, Vol 140, Iss 4, Suppl. S, pp 577-583.
10) SP Roose. Considerations for the use of antidepressants in patients with cardiovascular disease. American Heart Journal, 2000, Vol 140, Iss 4, Suppl. S, pp 584-588.
Copyright 2000 www.DrMirkin.com
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.
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