Duke University Medical Center investigators have found a strong association between depression and the incidence of irregular and rapid beating of the heart’s main pumping chambers in patients who have been hospitalized for a heart attack. This finding is important, the researchers said, because this heart beat irregularity, known as ventricular tachycardia, can be a precursor of sudden cardiac death .
Interestingly, the researchers found this association between depression and ventricular tachycardia in patients who were relatively healthy and that the risk of ventricular tachycardia increased with increased levels of depression. The researchers also found a link between anxiety and ventricular tachycardia.
Based on the results of their study, the researchers believe that hospitalized heart attack patients should be evaluated for depression, and those who are found to be clinically depressed should have their heart activity closely monitored.
Richard Merritt | EurekAlert!
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