Depression and poverty could cause heart attacks

Bad diets and a lack of exercise may not be the only reason for heart attacks, as depression or even poverty could be a factor.

Cardiologists at the University of Atlanta have worked on prior research dating back some 20 years to discover that psychological stress can indeed heighten the risk of heart failure.

The original research, undertaken by Dr Kenji Dote, discovered that a rush of adrenaline - the kind of which a person endures in a bereavement or stressful situation - could be enough to 'stun' the heart and impact upon its ability to pump blood. This was eventually given the name 'stress cardiomyopathy' or, more colloquially, 'broken heart syndrome'. In such circumstances, coronary arteries may look entirely healthy under examination, even if there is chest pain or shortness of breath.

Now, researchers from the University of Atlanta have supplemented Dr Dote's work to discover that psychological stress can indeed bring about what they deemed MSIMI (Mental Stress Induced Myocardial Iscahmia), healtherpeople.com reports.

By scanning the hearts of test subjects, researchers found that psychological factors can indeed have a huge impact on heart health, including depression and even poverty.

Speaking to telegraph.co.uk of the results, Professor Matthew Burg of Yale University explained: "This provides further evidence [that] important psychosocial factors such as poverty and depression have adverse health outcomes."