Background: Risk factor reduction may present a strategy for preventing depression. Risk factors for depression include cultural, social and personality as well as biochemical and pharmacological factors. Patients with cardiovascular disease have a high prevalence of depression. Depressed patients with cardiovascular disease have worse outcomes than other patients.
Objectives: To review the literature on depression in patients with cardiovascular disease, focusing on strategies to reduce the impact of this dual pathology.
Discussion: Several mechanisms may explain the high prevalence of depression in patients with cardiovascular disease, and why these patients experience worse outcomes. There is little evidence about the effectiveness of mental health promotion and illness prevention strategies for patients with cardiovascular disease. Implementation and evaluation of trial programs such as community mental health promotion, support groups, individual counselling, and treatment with psychotherapy and medication, will demonstrate which strategies are effective.