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Is this condition causing a heart attack?

230 million prescriptions are now filled for depression every year. Antidepressants are one of the most-prescribed drugs in the United States. More than 1 in 20 Americans are still depressed according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Research over the last two decades has shown that people with cardiovascular disease are more likely to suffer from depression than otherwise healthy people. The reverse is also been found to be true, people with depression are at greater risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
The National Institute of Mental Health states that “people with heart disease who are depressed have an increased risk of death after a heart attack compared to those who are not depressed.”

Cardiovascular disease now affects over 12 million Americans and is classified as one of the leading causes of death. The depression incident rates skyrockets to 1 in 2 for people who have survived their first heart attack according to the institute.

Depression and anxiety can result in heightened levels of stress hormones called cortisol and adrenaline. The elevated levels signal an alteration and damages the type of tissue healing needed for muscle tissue repair, especially the heart.

A recent study which involved 80 adults aged 20 to 45 years who were diagnosed with moderate depression were able to cut their symptoms nearly in half with exercise alone. Exercise performed three to five times per week has immediate effects on your mood and brain health according to the study.(1)

The proper balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 has now been considered to be the most important nutrient to battle cardiovascular disease and depression. (2) Omega-3 deficiency can also decrease normal blood flow to numerous regions of the brain. The ideal balance of Omega 6 and 3 fatty acids has been found to be in a 2:1 ratio. (3)

Dr. Cory Couillard is an international healthcare speaker and columnist for numerous newspapers, magazines, websites and publications throughout the world. He works in collaboration with the World Health Organization's goals of disease prevention and global healthcare education. Views do not necessarily reflect endorsement.

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(1) American Journal of Preventive Medicine January 2005;28(1):1-8.
(2) Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics 2009; 78 (2): 125


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