Mental Health and Heart Disease

How are heart disease and mental health linked?

Research suggests that coronary heart disease and mental illness may be linked. Recent data shows that there are biological as well as neurochemical factors that can trigger mental health concerns and also influence heart disease.

A person who is genetically predisposed to mental illness may also be genetically more likely to develop heart disease. Conditions such as anxiety and borderline personality disorder can increase stress levels in the body. This increase in stress can encourage your body to release ‘fight or flight’ hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline which can put a significant strain on your blood pressure and overall heart rate.

There is also research that suggests anti-psychotic, antidepressant and mood stabilising drugs may contribute to the risk of coronary heart disease. This is due to their influence on the dopamine receptors within the brain.

What can you do?

If you have concerns about a link between mental and physical health, we recommend you contact your healthcare provider. They will be able to advise you on the appropriate action to take to help your physical and mental health. They may also recommend other lifestyle changes such as adjusting your diet or exercising more.