Sydney: A new study has revealed that depression is one of the major risk factors behind heart risk.
According to Professor Gavin Lambert, National Health and Medical Research Fellow at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, depression is a risk factor that needs to be taken as seriously as any other and it may also exacerbate existing heart disease, Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The study has found that depression can have physiological effect on the heart by increasing the production of a stress hormone called noradrenaline released by the nerves involved in the 'fight or flight' response.
The scientist have found that releasing too much of this hormone over time can damage the blood vessels in a number of different ways, like constricting the blood vessels making them narrower and more easily blocked, raising blood pressure and cause other changes that increase the risk of plaque building up on blood vessel walls and can also trigger inflammation which can make it easier for clots to form.
Lambert's study aims to learn more about this gene and if the use of some anti-depressants (serotonin re-uptake inhibitors or SSRIs) can lower heart disease risk.