If you have depression, you are far more likely to have sudden heart failure within the next 12 months.
An alarming new study has found that depressed patients have a higher risk of sudden death from heart failure, indicating to scientists that it may time to start screening patients for depression.
The European Society of Cardiology conducted a study that found that patients with depression have a far greater incidence of heart failure within a year, according to a BBC report.
Prof. John Cleland, who headed up the study and works at the Imperial College London and the University of Hull, said the scientists tend to look for better drugs and treatments for something like heart failure but may need to look deeper, as that might not be enough. There are a multitude of factors than can affect something like heart failure, but depression may have been underestimated as a root cause.
The heart becomes weak and stiff in heart failure cases, resulting in difficulty pumping blood and tiredness and shortness of breath that comes as a result.
Cleland and his colleague examined 96 patients in the study who had experienced heart failure before, asking them questions relating to depression and finding that in those with moderate to severed depression, they died 300 days later much more frequently than those who did not.
Heart failure has been linked to depression before, but in the past scientists had simply assumed that people with depression had a more severe heart condition.
More research will be needed, as it was a small study, but the results do provide scientists with a new lead on how to handle patients who have heart failure, with alternate paths of treatment rather than simply prescribing more pills.