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Depression Related Pathophysiologies Relevant in Heart Disease: Insights into the Mechanism Based on Pharmacological Treatments

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 2 ]


Treesa P. Varghese*, Anand V. Kumar, Nila M. Varghese and Sharad Chand   Pages 125 - 131 ( 7 )


Depressive symptoms are highly prevalent in patients with cardiac diseases. Co-morbid Depression in cardiac patients causes a significant reduction in health-related quality of life for the patients and inflicts an economic burden on the society. Two types of mechanisms that may explain the link between depression and cardiac diseases are the psychosocial and physiopathological mechanisms. Physiopathological mechanisms are direct biological mechanisms, which include hyperactivity of non-adrenergic and Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis (HPA), abnormal platelet activation, endothelial dysfunction, and inflammatory process. Psychosocial factors include behavioral or lifestyle factors like smoking alcoholism and physical inactivity. Pharmacologic and therapeutic interventions are effective at reducing symptoms of depression in patients with cardiac disorders. Among pharmacological treatment, SSRIs seems to be effective for the reduction of depressive symptoms among patients with cardiac disorders because of their good efficacy and minimal cardiovascular side effects. Mechanisms of action of SSRI’s in depressive patients with cardiac disorders are associated with their ability to reduce inflammation, platelet, and endothelial dysfunction. This review focuses on the potential pathophysiological and psychosocial links between cardiac diseases and depression, the treatment options, and the importance of routine screening of depressive symptoms in cardiac settings.


Depression, endothelial dysfunction, hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, inflammatory process, platelet activation, cardiac diseases.


Department of Pharmacy Practice, NGSMIPS, Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangaluru, Karnataka 575018, Department of Pharmacology, JSS College of Pharmacy, Ooty, Tamilnadu, Department of Pharmaceutics, St. Johnes College of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Research, Idukki, Kerala, Department of Pharmacy Practice, NGSMIPS, Nitte (Deemed to be University), Mangaluru, Karnataka 575018

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