Depression can be associated with a variety of health disorders due to the fact that often depression can cause a health disorder, or depression can be a reactive state associated with a recently diagnosed or chronic health disorder. An example is how patients that have a suspected acute coronary syndrome or those with a confirmed coronary myocardial infarction have clinical symptoms of depression that are associated with the changes in behavioral patterns or EKG results showing stress induced symptomologies (Giannitsis & Katus, 1999).
There are further studies that demonstrate that there is a relationship between depression and cardiac mortality as demonstrated by Karl (2001). In this study there is not a vague relationship between the cause and effect variables; rather there is evidence that patients who had suffered a myocardial infarction (heart attack) and also demonstrated behavior associated with a major depressive disorder had a greater risk for death. In fact this risk was increased by 2-4 times for cardiac patients versus those who did not have depression.
Additionally, it is interesting to assess and review a meta-analysis that was conducted which assessed the relationship between the factors of coronary heart disease and depression. Frasure-Smith and Lesperance (2006) took on this task and found that patients who have had medical treatments associated with congestive heart failure had higher instances of depression. Additionally data demonstrated a strong relationship between CHD and the onset of depression that may be demonstrated in secondary factors such as suddenly high cholesterol levels that “could be” associated with poor or depressed behavioral disorders as well as vague clinical associations between clinical characteristics of depression. There is a great opportunity to further investigate the relationship between depression and acute coronary syndrome.
Frasure-Smith, N. & Lesperance, F. (2006). Recent evidence linking coronary heart disease and depression. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 51(12), 730-737.
Giannitis, E. & Katus, H. A. (1999). Strategies for clinical assessments of patients with suspected acute coronary syndromes. Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigations, 230(59), 36-42.
Miller, K. E. (2001). Is depression a risk factor for cardiac mortality? American Family Physician, 64(8), 1459-1460.