Columbia University Medical Center study shows link between depression and worsening heart disease
Depression is known to be "hard on the heart" – now researchers are a step closer to understanding why. A new Columbia University Medical Center study examining potential links between depression and heart disease found that heart disease patients who showed symptoms of depression were substantially less adherent to taking a prescribed medicine than patients without depression. Patients who continued to show signs of depression three months after a heart attack or angina only took prescribed medications 67 percent of the time, compared to almost 90 percent in non-depressed patients.
The research, which was presented for the first time at the 63rd American Psychosomatic Society Annual Meeting is part of the Coronary Psychosocial Patient Evaluation Study (COPES), a multi-site, multi-project consortium that is funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. According to Karina W. Davidson, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and principal investigator of the study, it was known that depression in heart disease patients increases the risk of death after a heart attack, but the explanation for the link had remained unclear until now.
Craig LeMoult | EurekAlert!
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