An article by Alexander reviewed surveys conducted on healthy individuals and concluded that depressed individuals are at a higher risk of developing ischemic heart disease (Alexander, 1998). One of the articles reviewed in the study showed that the mortality rates after myocardial infarction in depressed individuals were 3.5 times higher as compared to non depressed individuals.
A community based prospective study by Penninx showed that the relative risk associated with cardiac diseases was 3.0 in patients with major depression and 1.6 in patients with minor depression (Brenda, 2001). This clearly shows that depression increases the mortality associated with cardiac diseases. Similar results have been found in many other community studies and surveys (John, 1996).
Depression has also been found to be a major risk factor for cardiac complications after CABG. A prospective study conducted on patients who underwent CABG showed that cardiac events at the end of one year after surgery were significantly higher in patients who fulfilled the criteria of depression at the time of discharge from the hospital (Connerney).
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