Depressed people have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) journal.
Depressed people have an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, according to a study published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a European Society of Cardiology (ESC) journal. 1 Medication was not responsible for the high frequency of atrial fibrillation in depressed people. The findings are reported during Global AF Aware Week.
Study author Morten Fenger-Grøn, senior statistician, Research Unit for General Practice, Aarhus University, Denmark, said: “It is common knowledge that there is a connection between the mind and the heart. Depression predicts the development of coronary artery disease and worsens its prognosis.2 Our study investigated whether depression is also linked with atrial fibrillation.”
Atrial fibrillation is the most common heart rhythm disorder (arrhythmia). It causes 20–30% of all strokes and increases the risk of dying prematurely.3 One in four middle-aged adults in Europe and the US will develop atrial fibrillation. It is estimated that by 2030 there will be 14–17 million patients with atrial fibrillation in the European Union, with 120,000–215,000 new diagnoses each year. Signs of atrial fibrillation include palpitations, shortness of breath, tiredness, chest pain and dizziness.4
Previous studies have found associations between depression and both more severe symptoms and higher mortality in atrial fibrillation patients.5 Antidepressants have been linked with some serious, but rare, heart rhythm disturbances, prompting the question of whether they might also raise the risk of atrial fibrillation.
Read more at European Society of Cardiology
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