A new study reveals that mental health and physical health may be closely tied together. Doctors advise people suffering from heart attacks to go screen themselves regularly for any signs of depression that they might have.
Presented at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology, the study has found that depression severely increases the risk of death in heart failure patients.
Psychological speaking, it makes perfect sense. There are several papers suggesting that there’s power in the way we think.
People suffering from depression spend most of their days feeling sad and / or sleepy. They lack energy, don’t usually feel like they have anything or anyone worth living for, and they often think that their life is either empty or meaningless. They don’t believe that there’s a good reason for them to look after themselves, and they don’t feel the need to interact with other human beings.
So what’s the point in fighting? What exactly would they be wasting energy fighting for? A life that they hate? It is much easier for people suffering from depression to choose to give up rather than fight a disease that may be threatening their very life.
For their study, the researchers looked at a total of 154 patients, 27 with mild depression and 24 with moderate or severe depression. The survey lasted for 302 days during which patients have died.
When compared to people that showed no signs of depression, or people suffering from mild forms of depression, the experts noted that people who suffered from moderate or severe forms of depression were five (5) times more likely to die in the event of heart failure.
To make matters worse, this is by no means a rare encounter. John Cleland, lead author and professor of cardiology at Imperial College London and the University of Hull in England, gave a statement explaining that doctors know very well that depression is common in heart failure patients and affects 20 to 40 percent of them.
He went on to add that “Patients with heart failure are at high risk of recurrent hospital admissions and death. Approximately 25% of patients admitted to hospital with heart failure are readmitted for a variety of reasons within one month”. Within one year, things get completely out of control – most of the patients will have had at least one if not more readmission, and almost half of them will have died.
The study was meant to investigate the predictors of heart failure and identify possible reasons for readmission and death among patients suffering from it.
Professor Cleland and his team concluded that their results show how depression is strongly associated with death during the year following discharge from hospital, after having been admitted for the exacerbation of heart failure.
Even more alarming, Cleland is convinced that the link between the two last even beyond that first year.
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