Depression and cardiovascular disease: Psychobiological mechanisms

Arup Kumar Dhar, Gavin William Lambert, David Anthony Barton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Otherpeer-review


Both major depression and cardiovascular disease are leading causes of burden of disease worldwide. Major depression is common in those suffering cardiovascular disease, and likewise cardiovascular disease is common in those suffering major depression. This chapter aims to look at the association between the two and the underlying biological mechanisms that link them. There now is vast evidence indicating that major depression is a risk factor for the development of coronary heart disease. The mechanisms involved are numerous and certainly multifactorial. These include behavioral and lifestyle factors, the sympathetic nervous system, platelet function, and the autoimmune and inflammatory systems. Of importance is that major depression increases the mortality in those suffering coronary heart disease. Until recently it was thought that this increased mortality could be explained by the increased co-occurrence of classical cardiac risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and dyslipidemia. It has now been shown that major depression is itself an independent risk factor. There is obvious need to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underpinning both of these disease processes. This would hopefully aid the development of better treatments of these diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Psychocardiology
Place of PublicationSingapore
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9789812872067
ISBN (Print)9789812872050
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Depression
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Platelet function
  • Sympathetic nervous system

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