Recovering from a heart attack may be more difficult for a person with depression

Kevin Magna

February 14, 2012

Recovering from a heart attack may be more difficult for a person with depressionDepression is a serious mental health condition that affects approximately one in 10 U.S. adults, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A recent study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research finds that depression may affect how well a person recovers after suffering a heart attack.

To find this out, researchers from the University of Tel Aviv reviewed collected data from 632 heart attack patients under the age of 65 who were admitted to Israeli hospitals between 1992 and 1993. Scientists then looked at how well each person recovered by using follow-up data through 2005.

With this data, researchers aimed to look at how well people diagnosed with depression were able to cope with their heart attack. From the results, they found that participants with depression spent 14 percent more time in the hospital than those with little to no signs of depression.

Lead researcher Vicki Myers reports that she believes people with depression who suffer a heart attack might recover more slowly based on the symptoms of depression as it tends to make people less outgoing and less active. Having a good attitude and being willing to workout, eat right and go along with treatment programs are keys to success, while failing to do so can put people at greater risk.

Whether or not an aging loved one is depressed, heart attacks and other medical conditions can happen at any time to anyone. Elders living alone might benefit from installing a senior alert system in their homes in case an emergency occurs when no one is around.

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