Intended for healthcare professionals


Depression as a risk factor for ischaemic heart disease in men

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 21 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1450

Two other community studies show similar findings

  1. Tony Kendrick, Professor.
  1. Primary Medical Care, School of Medicine, University of Southampton, Aldermoor Health Centre, Southampton SO16 5ST
  2. Town End Surgery, Caterham, Surrey CR3 5UJ
  3. Division of General Practice, The Medical School, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH

    EDITOR—Hippisley-Cox et al showed the great potential of high quality general practice computer databases for use in epidemiological research in their elegant study of depression as a risk factor for ischaemic heart disease in men.1

    It has long been recognised that psychological symptoms are associated with an increased risk for physical disorders.2 The intimate connections between the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems provide a mechanism through which psychological changes can lead to changes in susceptibility to physical illness.3 In my experience, general practitioners are comfortable with the concept that feelings and events in people's lives can predispose them to just about any physical condition.

    Hippisley-Cox et al suggest that research in this area has been limited to studies of small numbers of highly selected hospital patients, but there have been at least two long term community cohort …

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