Science and Tech


Depression, Stress Increase Risk Of Death For Heart Patients

People with stress, depression and coronary heart disease were 48 percent more likely to have a heart attack or die in the next 2.5 years.
Posted at 3:39 PM, Mar 11, 2015

Depression, stress, heart disease. We already know these things are bad for us. (Video via Columbia Pictures / "Anger Management")

According to a study published in the journal Circulation, the combination of these three things can literally kill you. 

Researchers looked at 4,487 adults who already had coronary heart disease. Six percent of these people had high stress and depressive symptoms. These people were 48 percent more likely than those with low stress and depression to have a heart attack or die in a 2.5-year follow-up.

Coronary heart disease is the most common type of heart disease and the No. 1 killer of men and women in the U.S. It's when plaque builds up inside coronary arteries and partially or completely blocks blood flow to the heart. It can lead to heart attacks and stroke. (Video via Edward Hospital)

In the conclusion, the researchers labeled the stress and depression combined with heart disease a "perfect storm" and noted these things "may be particularly destructive in the shorter term." (Video via Bupa Health

And it's the combination that's important. HealthDay quoted the lead researcher on the study from Columbia University Medical Center, who said high depression alone or high stress alone didn't increase the risk of a heart attack or death.

And interestingly, a longer follow-up with the participants didn't show a great association. It was only within that 2.5-year follow-up that the risk was higher when combined with stress and depression.