Depression Could Increase Atrial Fibrillation Risk

Exactly how depression affects heart health remains unclear.

About 16 million American adults experience depression every year according to the CDC. Preliminary research states that those patients may be at higher risk for developing atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder.

"Our findings identify a large portion of Americans who may be at an increased risk for developing atrial fibrillation and who may benefit from more targeted efforts to prevent this arrhythmia," said study lead investigator Parveen Garg, M.D., M.P.H, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Previous research has connected depression to other heart conditions, including a link to increased risk of heart attacks for patients living with HIV, highlighting the need for research into the links between depression and cardiovascular health.

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