Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Heart and mind: (1) relationship between cardiovascular and psychiatric conditions
  1. S U Shah1,
  2. A White2,
  3. S White2,
  4. W A Littler2
  1. 1University Hospital Birmingham and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2University Hospital Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Saeed Ullah Shah
 Department of Cardiology, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor LL57 2PW, UK;


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
  • antidepressants
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • cardiovascular disease
  • psychiatric disease

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.