Your health and World Health
Last month, World Health Day specifically set out to seek community awareness of the impacts of depression as a significant independent risk factor for heart disease.
Research points to links between anxiety, depression and heart disease as some 3 million Australians wage an often lonely battle with depression or anxiety.
A review of evidence by the Heart Foundation shows that:
– depression is a significant independent risk factor for heart disease
– depression is also linked with conventional risk factors for heart disease – for example, people with depression are more likely to smoke and develop diabetes and obesity
– depression is common among people with heart disease
– depression affects recovery and increases the risk of further heart-related incidents, such as another heart attack and slower recovery from heart surgery
– depression is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle
– people with depression are generally poorer at taking their prescribed medication.
The Heart of Australia message is that if you have any concerns, a good first step is to discuss these with your GP, a family member or trusted friend.
It’s important to make sure that the doctor managing your heart condition knows if you have anxiety or depression.
For more information visit www.beyondblue.org.au