Depression may not affect the heart directly

November 26, 2008 9:10:58 PM PST
Depression is common in heart and stroke patients, but it does not appear to physically impact the heart.Doctors conducting research discovered that people with depression simply don't take good care of themselves. They did not practice heart healthy behaviors such as taking their medications and eating a balanced diet.

Research in the journal of the American Medical Association also finds patients with depression were twice as likely to smoke and to less likely to exercise.

Experts say treating depression is still the key to good health. Once patients feel more hopeful, they should be able to take better care of their hearts.