How mood blocks cardiac recovery
A patient's ability to recover may have as much to do with his state of mind as the health of his heart, according to a long-term study of heart disease and depression at the University of California, San Francisco.
"Depression isn't just debilitating, but it can also worsen chronic conditions," says the leader of the study, Mary Whooley, MD, professor of medicine and epidemiology at UCSF and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center. In this video, Laurence Sperling, MD, a preventive cardiologist at Emory University in Atlanta, explains that depression combined with heart disease is physical as well as psychological.
Many heart patients concur. "I thought a lot about dying. I'm 61 years old and wondered whether I'd wake up in the morning," says Barbara Forman of Englewood, Ohio. Five years after bypass surgery she still worries about her depression.