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Depression Twice As Likely To Occur After A Heart Attack

Adults who have had a heart attack are twice as likely to be diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives, according to a survey of 164,102 people as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Nearly one in three (30.1%) heart attack patients suffer afterwards from depression compared with 15.0% of those who do not experience heart attacks.

Similarly, those who have had a heart attack are twice as likely as those who have not to say they are currently being treated for depression. While 8.1% of those who have never experienced a heart attack currently contend with depression, this figure jumps to 16.5% among those with a history of at least one heart attack.

Other research supports the link between heart attack and depression. Researchers at the Montreal Heart Institute found that those who were depressed were six times more likely to die within six months of their heart attack than those who were not depressed.

According to Gallup, the psychological aspects of living with illness must be given proper attention in healthcare. Preventing and recovering from a heart attack and subsequent depression often depends on making positive lifestyle choices and having a strong support network.

Additionally, symptoms of cardiac issues and depression can overlap -- fatigue, disruption of daily routines, sleep disturbance -- so it is vital that caregivers assess and treat heart attack and depression simultaneously..