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Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2009 Jan;6(1):38-51.

Depression and coronary artery disease: the association, mechanisms, and therapeutic implications.

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Dr. Khawaja is from Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota/VA Medical Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota (currently doing a fellowship in sleep medicine at the Center for Sleep Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota).


We performed a comprehensive review of the literature to determine whether or not a relationship between depression and coronary artery disease exists. Our literature search supports the following: Depression and coronary artery disease have a bidirectional relationship, i.e., coronary artery disease can cause depression and depression is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease and its complications; depression may contribute to sudden cardiac death and increase all causes of cardiac mortality; and depression contributes to unhealthy lifestyle and poor adherence to treatment. We review various pathophysiological links between depression and coronary artery disease and screening for depression in at-risk patients for coronary artery disease. We also discuss pharmacological treatments, their implications, and various behavioral treatments.


SSRIs; antidepressant medications; coronary artery disease; depression

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