Depression in heart disease ups mortality

It’s an alarming statistic, and according to Baker IDI’s Professor Gavin Lambert, a senior researcher, it highlights the need for urgent awareness of early intervention for the 15% of people who develop major depressive disorder following myocardial infarction or bypass surgery.

Professor Lambert is researching the link between heart disease and depression, and said depression can have a physiological effect on the heart. He warned that as a risk factor, depression is up there with smoking.

“In people who have had a heart attack and who then go on to develop depression, the mortality is about four times more than somebody who doesn’t develop depression within the first six months,” he said.

“We routinely screen all of our patients across all our studies, not just in heart disease, for signs of depression, because we realise it has a physiological effect across the rest of the body