Depression Linked to Heart Health

Heart Health pic

Heart Health

Dr. Christie Mensch is a psychiatrist based in Kansas City, Kansas. She practices at the Wyandot Center, which offers comprehensive outpatient mental health services. Dr. Christie Mensch is especially interested in the treatment and study of depression.

While doctors have long understood that there is a link between psychological and physical health, more recently they’ve begun to see links between mental illness and major risk factor illnesses like heart disease. Depression has been linked to chronic pain, stress, digestive disorders, and early death, but it is now being linked to heart health, especially cardiovascular disease.

Studies show that the relationship is mutual: those with heart conditions are more likely to become depressed and those who have depression are more likely to develop heart disease. A recent German study, which observed 3,500 men between the ages of 45 and 74, showed that the risk of fatal heart disease was as high in men with depression as it was in men suffering from obesity or high cholesterol levels. Scientists don’t yet know the link, but they hypothesize that stress hormones play a role.