Research has documented a high correlation between depression and increased risk of dying or impairment in patients with coronary heart disease:
- In coronary heart disease, for patients with a history of myocardial infarction (heart attack), the prevalence of depression is estimated from 40 to 65 percent.
- Among coronary heart patients without a history of heart attack, 18-20% may experience depression.
- Major depression puts heart attack victims at greater risk and appears to add to the patients' disability from heart disease. Depression can contribute to a worsening of symptoms as well as poor adherence to cardiac treatment regimens.
- People who survive heart attacks but suffer from major depression have a 3-4 times greater risk of dying within six months than those who do not suffer from depression.