Are depression and loneliness bad for your heart?

In those who have survived one heart attack, the chances of survivors with depression having a second heart attack within the next two years is double that of nondepressed survivors. Poor coping with stress can be one of the many causes of depression. Lack of social support, such as a comforting spouse or friends, has been shown to lead to increased stress and depression, and to a lower survival rate after a heart attack. We therefore discuss the social support issue in the section on stress. Keep in mind that if social support can help a heart attack survivor, it can also help prevent the first one from occurring.

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