Heart Attack Patients, Beware

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Heart Attack Patients, Beware

Depression affects about 33 percent of folks who have had a heart attack

After a heart attack, depression is the leading cause of death in the year following surgery. This is largely because folks suffering from depression are less likely to adhere to the treatment regimen their doctors prescribe. In fact, though depression affects an about 7 percent to 10 percent of Americans ages 18 and older, studies show that nearly 33 percent of heart attack patients end up developing some degree of depression.

The American Heart Association recommends that all heart patients be screened for depression by their primary care physician and get treated as necessary.

If you have had a heart attack, talk to your doctor if you notice signs of depression (changes in appetite and sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, lack of interest in activities that used to bring you pleasure, excess worrying, feelings of worthlessness or thoughts of suicide). Also, make sure all your doctors, including mental health professionals, are on the same page about your ongoing care.

Roslyn Daniels