The relationship of our emotions and psyche to heart disease is intriguing. In this article we have reviewed the evidence linking cardiovascular and neuropsychiatric disorders and the possible mechanisms and pathophysiology of this association. This review is derived from Medline searches (1966–2002) using the relevant search terms (psychiatric disease, cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and pathophysiology). Finally, the possible role of using mood enhancing therapies (mainly antidepressants) and their safety in patients with cardiovascular disorders is briefly discussed. In a companion paper, the therapeutic aspects of these two conditions is highlighted.
- HRV, heart rate variability
- 5-HT, serotonin
- ICD, implantable cardiac defibrillators
- IHD, ischaemic heart disease
- cardiovascular disease
- psychiatric disease
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