Can your heart health affect your mental health and vice versa? When it comes to heart disease and mental health, what’s the link?
People have been wondering for generations about the connection between the body and the mind. One of the areas that have been explored is the link between heart disease and depression.
According to studies, depression is more common in people with heart disease and vice versa. In addition, individuals with acute heart disease and depression have an increased risk of heart attacks and death.
Fewer studies have explored whether there’s a link between cardiovascular risk factors and depression. However, a new study in PLOS ONE explores this very connection.
Sandra Martin-Pelaez from the University of Granada in Spain and her colleagues analyzed individuals with metabolic syndrome. They did this to explore the connection between cardiovascular risk factors and depression in participants ages 55 to 75. Metabolic syndrome, which may play a role in depression, is a group of conditions including hypertension, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and excess fat around the waist.
Participants for the study are from a broader trial examining the effects of a Mediterranean diet on overweight individuals with metabolic syndrome. Over 6,500 participants were part of the baseline analysis and over 4,500 were followed up two years later as part of the PLOS ONE study.
Categories included low-, medium-, and high-risk for having and/or dying from heart disease within ten years. Moreover, they list their depressive symptoms at baseline and two years later.
According to the results, no significant association was found between cardiovascular risk and depression – at baseline or follow-up. While they found at baseline that women with higher cardiovascular risk were likelier to exhibit depression symptoms, the same was not true for men. At follow-up, there was no association with either men or women.
The Link Between Depression and Heart Disease
While this study can’t confirm that there is a connection between depression and heart disease, there is an already strong body of evidence showing the connection. Various factors, including behavioral and biological, may explain this connection. Some of these factors include increased inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, altered autonomic nervous system activity, and blood platelet dysfunction.
We also know that healthy lifestyle factors like regular physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet are protective against depression and heart disease. While the role of diet in improving depression is not as clear, there is good evidence showing the effectiveness of exercise in treating depression.
In addition, if you want to boost your heart health, you can do so by taking supplements like L-arginine Plus. Its ingredients are effective at promoting circulation, blood pressure health, cholesterol health, and more. If you’re ready to support your heart health, then start leading a healthy life and take L-arginine Plus.