In the world, cardiovascular illnesses continue to be the major cause of death. According to cardiologists, environmental pollution and emotional health are significant – and emerging – risk factors for this kind of illness. And on that they concentrated their efforts this year. According to data gathered by the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC), depression is three times more common and underdiagnosed in myocardial infarction patients than it is in the general population. Optimism, on the other hand, benefits our hearts: it cuts the chance of a heart attack in half.
The FEC presents many papers that discuss the intimate connection between depression and cardiovascular health in honor of World Heart Day, which is observed this September 29. The entity recalls that 10% of Spaniards have at least one emotional disorder, and that slightly more than 15% will have it their entire lives.
According to data from 2020, 5.4% of Spaniards, or about two million individuals, experience some form of depressive disorder, a condition that doubles the risk of developing heart disease. In actuality, people with depression who were identified during an acute coronary syndrome have worse outcomes and experience more cardiac events over the course of their treatment than those without the condition.
The advantage of positivity
Cardiologists claim that having an optimistic outlook on life promotes cardiovascular health. The FEC cites research showing that having an optimistic outlook reduces the risk of having a heart attack by half as compared to pessimism, which is predicated to have a higher risk of developing heart disease. The immune system and the autonomic nervous system both benefit from good moods, which also enhance the course of cardiovascular events, lower the likelihood of relapse, and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.
Contrary to what occurs with depression, there is considerable debate surrounding the link between anxiety and heart disease. According to certain research, it may play a role in both hospital admission complications and a rise in mortality among myocardial infarction patients. The FEC emphasizes that additional studies do not support the association between high levels of stress and an elevated risk of heart attack appearance seen in the largest study on psychosocial factors and myocardial infarction conducted to yet in 52 nations.
Additionally, numerous studies have linked sleep problems to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Insomniacs had a 45% higher chance of developing or passing away from cardiovascular disease than individuals who do not report sleep difficulties, according to a cumulative analysis of all of them. Conclusion: According to experts, chronic vital stress, adverse emotional states, and health problems like depression and anxiety not only raise the risk of cardiovascular disease and make it worse, but they are also linked to a higher use of medical resources.
Environmental pollution’s effects
Another new cardiovascular risk factor that the SEC-FEC Verde Group has been focusing on for months is environmental pollution. And it is that it has already positioned itself in fourth place, only behind hypertension, smoking, and bad diet, on the list of aggravating factors or triggers of cardiovascular illnesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that air pollution may be to blame for 25% of all fatalities caused by ischemic heart disease. According to Dr. Violeta Sánchez, coordinator of the SEC-FEC Verde Group, “Contamination favors thrombosis, inflammation, oxidative stress, and endothelial dysfunction,” and between 40 and 80% of the detrimental effects of pollution have an impact on the cardiovascular system.
Cardiologists claim that investments in cleaner public transportation, energy-efficient housing, access to clean fuels and technologies, and effective municipal waste management are necessary to lessen the impact of pollution on heart disease. You can try to lessen your personal influence by taking simple steps like walking or cycling instead of driving, monitoring the air quality, and avoiding heavily polluted regions.