There is an increasing amount of evidence for a link between depression and heart disease. A study of 63,469 women by researchers at Columbia University Medical Centre asked them whether they had any symptoms of depression or used antidepressants. None of the women had any symptoms of heart disease at the start of the study but they were followed between 1992 and 2004 to see if they developed any problems. The study found that the women with the worst depression and those who were taking antidepressants were at higher risk of 'sudden cardiac death' (SCD) and 'fatal heart disease' and women with clinical depression were more than twice as likely to experience SCD. A significant part of the heightened risk was due to the fact that risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and smoking were more common among the women with depression.
You can find out more about this research at