Dr. Tina Dow


While there has been extensive research on the link between depression and cardiovascular disease, few reviews have summarized the array of findings. In this literature review, we examined approximately 50 clinical papers and research studies to determine if reducing depression could reduce the risk of having a cardiovascular incident and if reducing the severity of cardiovascular disease could reduce depression. We identified two major mechanisms through which depression affects the cardiovascular system. We present evidence that depression and cardiovascular disease may have a reciprocal relationship. For instance, depression is as much of a risk factor for heart disease as smoking and hypertension. Further, depression is 20% more common in patients after a major cardiac event like a myocardial infarction. In addition, we examine how treating depression could reduce the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease.

About the Author

Jomaries O. Gomez graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2020. She presented this research, The Relationship between Depression and Cardiovascular Disease, at the Brain Awareness Symposium in 2019. Jomaries is an aspiring physician and will be starting a medical program in August 2021.


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