The Link Between Depression and Heart Disease in Men


Man staring off into nowhere

When many consider depression, the first thing they think of is sadness. However, depression is a disease that affects the whole body, and sometimes can occur without any feelings of sadness or grief. Depression can affect heart rhythm, blood pressure and stress hormone levels, all of which can negatively impact a man’s heart health.

Is There a Link Between Depression and Heart Disease?

German researchers have found that depression in men occurs alongside heart disease as often as other high-risk factors such as high cholesterol levels, smoking and obesity.

Depression alters a person’s ability to regulate their moods and can lead to a variety of self-destructive behaviors such as smoking tobacco, abusing drugs and overeating. Depression can also make heart disease worse by making treatment more difficult for a man who suffers both.

Whether depression is a direct cause of heart disease, or whether it can lead to other behaviors that cause heart disease is still not clear. However, the link between the two is becoming clearer.

Depression occurs alongside heart disease so often that some doctors say looking for it when diagnosing cardiovascular disease should be standard.

How Is Depression Treated Alongside Heart Disease?

Anti-depressants such as Prozac are often prescribed to men who suffer from depression. These medications can help both the symptoms of depression as well help men who find it difficult to take care of their heart health due to their depression. Anti-depressants also often contain blood-thinning properties. These can have positive outcomes for the treatment of both depression and cardiovascular disease.

Other activities such as exercise, eating healthy and abstaining from drugs and alcohol are able to help treat both depression and heart disease at the same time. Often, preventative treatments for both conditions go hand-in-hand.