People with heart disease tend to have an overabundance of mood and anxiety issues. The association stays consistent across world cultures and is relatively a universal mechanism, according to research.
These findings imply that similar processes explain the connection and that studies on the comorbidity of mental disorders and cardiac disease should take a wide spectrum of mood-anxiety disorders into account.
Although depression and heart disease frequently co-occur in Western nations, little is known about the correlation between anxiety and alcohol use disorders and heart disease, as well as the constancy of this correlation across cultures. Consistency across mental disorders and cultural groups would imply that the connection is caused by generally universal mechanisms.
Anxiety or alcohol use disorders associated with heart disease
Prior research lacked a body of convincing evidence showing that effective treatment of depression improves the prognosis of heart disease. Also, research on heart disease–mental disorder comorbidity had focused on depression and had largely been conducted in Western countries, but less was known about the association of heart disease with anxiety or alcohol use disorders or about mental–physical comorbidity in developing countries and non-Western cultures.
The researchers present new information regarding the prevalence of common mental disorders among people with heart disease and the consistency of the association across various Western and non-Western countries using data from World Mental Health (WMH) surveys in 17 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.
The objectives of the analysis were to (1) estimate the prevalence of specific mood, anxiety, and alcohol use disorders among persons with and those without heart disease and (2) assess whether these associations are consistent across culturally and socioeconomically diverse countries.
Eighteen surveys were carried out in 17 countries in the Americas (Colombia, Mexico, and the United States), Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, and Ukraine), the Middle East/Africa (Israel, Lebanon, Nigeria, and South Africa), Asia (Japan and the People’s Republic of China, with separate surveys in Beijing and Shanghai) and the South Pacific (New Zealand). All surveys were based on multistage and clustered area probability household samples.
Specific mood and anxiety disorders occurred among persons with heart disease at a higher rate
Cardiovascular diseases that had received a medical diagnosis were identified through self-report. To assess mental disorders, the World Mental Health Composite International Diagnostic test, a fully organised diagnostic examination, was employed.
Specific mood and anxiety problems occurred more frequently in patients with heart disease than in those without it.
This study’s two main conclusions were: First off, this study confirmed the well-known link between depression and heart disease, but it was not as strong as the link between anxiety disorders and the disease. This held true for all people and for many civilizations all throughout the world.
According to the WMH surveys, those with heart disease had greater rates of not only mood but also anxiety and, to a lesser extent, alcohol consumption disorders than people of a similar age and sex who did not have heart disease. Various nations with varying cultures, languages, levels of socioeconomic development, and frequency of mental diseases were observed to have this association.
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