Stress, depression and anxiety, risk factors for cardiovascular diseases

For more than 20 years, heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the world. According to the World Health Organization, the number of deaths due to heart disease has increased since 2000 in more than 2 million peoplereaching almost 9 million people in 2019.

Although it is a congenital malformation, cardiovascular diseases can also develop due to vila style or associated risk factorsthat is, there is a relationship between these conditions and the mental health, warned Irma Leticia Cinnamon, head of the Department of Social Work and Admission at the National Institute of Cardiology “Dr. Ignacio Chávez”, during the Questions and Answers Forum 2022: Let’s speak clearly, organized by the Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, of the Faculty of Medicine (FM) of the UNAM.

Cardiologist Ana Elena Ancona Badillo explained that in the course of life, risks accumulate that at one point trigger a cardiovascular event or disease, such as a heart attack, heart failure, arrhythmias and multiple pathologies that lead to death.

He explained that there are asymptomatic patients who present to the office with high blood pressure figures, or some who are not hypertensive but, due to stress, register a hyperreactive condition that conditions them to have high blood pressure; “This hyperreactivity, in the long run, produces cardiovascular disease”.

Meanwhile, the specialist of the Hospital Médica Sur, Luz Odette Villegas Pichardo, emphasized that risk factors such as dyslipidemia (or high levels of cholesterol or fats in the blood), obesity, sedentary lifestyle, genetic factors and endocrinological disorders they add up until there is a time when cardiovascular disease is triggered.

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But this can, in turn, produce mental illness, such as depression and anxiety.

In these conditions there alteration of substances in the brain that triggers an inflammatory phenomenon; the release of cortisol and adrenaline has repercussions on cardiovascular health, since, for example, a vasoconstriction is generated that alters the coronary arteries and that can trigger a heart attack.

If we have high levels of serotonin, there is greater platelet adhesion and increased risk of thrombus formation, Therefore, patients may have a myocardial infarction or some cardiovascular disease.

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