Suffering from both depression and heart failure can be a lethal combo, according to a new study. More than 20 million people from around the world are affected by the very dangerous condition of heart failure.
Bad lifestyle choices – such as opting for an unhealthy diet, living in a polluted environment or ignoring the importance of physical activity – are only boosting these numbers to new heights, leading to more cases of heart failure.
Heart failure is a problem for 5.8 million people in the United States, a number that goes half a million higher with each passing year. It is also the leading cause of hospital readmission, with one in four heart failure patients being readmitted within a month, and one in two patients within 6 months.
Roughly 35 percent of patients die within the first year after suffering from heart failure, which amounts to an incredibly high risk of death.
But according to a study which will be presented at the annual meeting of Heart Failure 2015, in Seville, Spain, heart failure patients who also deal with moderate to severe depression have even worse odds.
Unless they follow treatment or therapy for their depression, these people face a five-fold risk of dying – and even mild depression can increase those risks, according to the researchers. The study’s results showed that heart failure patients who do not suffer from depression have an 80 percent higher survival rate.
Lead study author Professor John Cleland put together a team from the department of cardiology at the Imperial College London. They examined 152 patients with heart failure who have been admitted to hospital.
Within 300 days from the heart failure, the 102 patients who did not suffer from depression had the highest rate of survival. The 27 people who also dealt with moderate depression and the 24 people showing signs of severe depression had considerably lower chances of surviving in the next year.
People who identify signs of depression should definitely seek help, which can be provided by either taking prescribed medication or in the form of counseling or therapy. Researchers said it was not surprising to find out that so many people who have had heart failure experience depression.
One of the most obvious signs of depression is the sheer lack of motivation or interest in any kind of activity in general – and this feeling is easily turned into reduced efforts of fighting for one’s life.
Failing to see one’s purpose in life, having to deal with anxiety, extreme vulnerability, sleep problems and loss of appetite are just some of the symptoms of depression. Such factors combined with an unhealthy lifestyle can easily trigger yet another heart failure and eventually death.
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