Quoted from the press release of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia, coronary heart disease (CHD) still ranks first in the cause of death in Indonesia. The forms of heart disease vary, but often begin with a heart attack first. In fact, the risk of this heart attack can increase, even resulting in premature death, if the sufferer experiences depression. How can it be?
Depression in heart attack patients increases the risk of early death
Everyone can get depressed if he feels very sad and depressed for a long time. In addition to being more often experienced by women, this condition is also common in people who have chronic diseases, one of which is a heart attack.
Depression and the risk of a heart attack turns out to have a reciprocal relationship, such as an unbroken link. In fact, experts revealed that a combination of heart attack and depression can make a person experience premature death.
This starts from a study conducted by Dr. Heidy May, Ph.D., an epidemiologist from Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City. He studied about 24,137 patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease, both heart attacks, stable angina, and unstable angina.
As many as 15 percent or 3,646 patients were also diagnosed with depression after a heart attack. Then, the researchers ignored risk factors, age, sex, drugs, and continued complications.
Of the total participants diagnosed with heart attack and depression, as many as 50 percent of patients died during the study. Meanwhile, only about 38 percent of patients did not die and persisted until the study was completed. Experts conclude that depression plays a strong role in causing death in heart attack patients, even the risk can be doubled.
What is the relationship between depression, risk of heart attack, and premature death?
As mentioned earlier, depression, and the risk of heart attack affect each other. Depression results in more severe symptoms of heart attack, while people who have a heart attack will be very easily depressed because of their illness.
It hasn't stopped there, experts found that depression can accelerate death in heart attack patients. Unfortunately, experts do not explain the cause specifically. They suspect this has something to do with the patient's anxiety about the treatment he is undergoing.
When heart attack patients get depressed, they tend to be less disciplined about taking medication and lazy to exercise. Let alone for sports, just to eat regularly and live a healthy lifestyle just doesn't feel energetic. In fact, all of this is very important to support and accelerate the patient's healing process.
What's more, depression can increase the production of the hormone cortisol, aka stress hormone. This hormone can trigger inflammation in the blood vessels and facilitate fat into blood vessels. Not only does it cause heart attacks to get worse, patients are also susceptible to other diseases which further reduce their life expectancy.
How do you deal with depression in a heart attack patient?
Thanks to this research, the researchers revealed that it is important to treat depression in patients with heart disease as early as possible. This is not only beneficial to prevent the risk of a more severe heart attack, but also improves the quality of life of patients. In other words, the patient's life expectancy is longer and reduces the risk of death.
The best way is to screen for depression in patients and be monitored on an ongoing basis. This means that this is not only done just after the patient has been convicted of a heart attack.
After that, the doctor may prescribe several antidepressants, often in the form of SSRIs such as sertraline (Zoloft), citalopram (Celexa), or escitalopram (Lexapro). These drugs are considered safe and effective for treating depression in heart attack patients.
And most importantly, try to do regular exercise and other healthy lifestyles to help improve your mood. So even social support from partners, friends and family is very helpful in dealing with depression in patients. The faster the depression phase ends, the smaller the development of a heart attack.
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