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Arch Cardiovasc Dis. 2013 Feb;106(2):103-10. doi: 10.1016/j.acvd.2012.12.004. Epub 2013 Feb 1.

Review on depression and coronary heart disease.

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Service de psychiatrie et addictologie, centre hospitalier universitaire de Dijon, hôpital Général, 3, rue du Faubourg-Raines, 21000 Dijon, France.


The impact of psychological factors on somatic disorders - and vice versa - and the involvement of biological mechanisms in psychic disorders have generated considerable interest in recent years, notably thanks to cutting-edge investigation techniques (immunohistochemistry, functional imaging, genetics, etc.). In the field of psychosomatics, coronary heart disease (CHD) is a frequent co-morbidity of mental disorders, particularly mood disorders. Indeed, there is a bidirectional relationship between CHD and mood disorders, with a strong co-occurrence of the two diseases accompanied by a reciprocal worsening of the prognosis for the two conditions. Various epidemiological studies have shown that depression is a psychic risk factor for CHD and that CHD is present in almost 30% of patients with affective disorders. In this review of the literature, we tackle the crucial question of the diagnosis of depression during myocardial infarction. This clinical approach is essential given the underevaluation of this psychic problem. Then, various psychological, biological and genetic arguments are presented in support of the hypothesis that various aetiological mechanisms of the two disorders are partly shared. We finally deal with the treatment of depression in the context of CHD with its pharmacological and psychological specificities. In conclusion, this review reiterates the need for a multidisciplinary approach, which is necessary to understand, diagnose and then treat this frequent co-morbid condition of heart disease and depression.

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