Chronic diseases have assumed an increasingly important role in public health research and intervention. Without treatment, depressive disorders characteristically assume a chronic course and are expected, by 2020, to be second only to heart disease in the global burden of disease. Thus, understanding the relationship between depressive disorders and chronic disease appears vital to public health assessment and health care delivery.
Published in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, the study appears to substantiate the notion major depression and coronary heart disease have a strong, bidirectional relationship.
In this study the authors looked at the temperamental traits of hypertensive individuals suffering from depressive, cyclothymic (a milder form of bipolar disorder), hyperthymic (an excessively positive disposition, related to bipolar), irritability and anxiety in relation to cardiac complications requiring acute hospitalization (such as acute coronary syndrome, acute myocardial infarction).
Depression, anger and stress a risk
Although a relatively small study, by drilling down down to specific trait-like characteristics which precede and also determine the type of depression affecting heart health it adds to what is already known about the role of temperament in cardiovascular illness.
For instance previous studies have shown that an angry temperament can raise the risk of cardiac events in otherwise healthy individuals. Other evidence suggests that high levels …
A Psychocardiology subspecialty would raise awareness among physicians and the public. It would forge closer working relationships between psychiatrists and cardiologists. It would formalize multidisciplinary teams with the requisite training and expertise to enable early detection of cardiovascular disease risk in psychiatric patients and psychiatric problems in heart disease patients. And it would provide continuing education to physicians in the safe and correct use of medications in cardiac patients who have psychiatric disorders.
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