Scientists have identified how depression plays an important role in increasing death risk. It is the incidence of abnormal heart beats in a depressed person that can kill him.
Depression had long been taken as a factor for increased risk of death from heart disease. Now the team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has established that abnormal heart rate variability is the prime cause for such a case.
A normal heart beats at 50 to 100 beats per minute. Anything away from this range is often called abnormal heart rates. An abnormal heartbeat may happen due to coronary artery disease, electrolyte imbalance in the blood, changes in the heart muscle, injury from the heart attack, or healing after a heart surgery.
Researchers from the study points out that treatments to alleviate the depressive feelings and improve the heart rates may work best for depressive patients with coronary heart disease and increase their mortality rates. The research findings are important as it brings to focus the importance of understanding the role played by low heart rate variability in identifying medical prescriptions that can improve both depression and heart rate variability.
Reference: Archives of Internal Medicine, July 2005