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A tragic triangle of heart disease, nicotine and depression

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A study conducted in Boston reports that majority of the smokers admitted to hospital for heart disorders resume smoking once they are discharged from the hospital. Smoking is well known to have a detrimental effect on the functioning of the heart and cessation of smoking is advised in individuals who suffer from heart disorders. However, many individuals fail to follow the instructions which considerably increase their risk of further complications.

The Boston study relates this habit to the presence of depression in these patients. It was noted that about 22-24% of smokers admitted for heart disorders suffered from depressive symptoms. Cessation of smoking results in a condition known as nicotine withdrawal wherein, chronic smokers who have stopped smoking suffer from depression and other related symptoms that increase the craving for cigarettes. The nicotine withdrawal symptoms were noted to be at a higher extent in individuals suffering from depression leading to resumption of smoking. This becomes the tragic triangle of heart disease, nicotine dependence and depression which needs to be broken with counseling sessions and administration of antidepressant medications as needed.

Source: Thorndike AN, Rigotti NA. A tragic triad: coronary artery disease, nicotine addiction, and depression. Curr Opin Cardiol. 2009 Sep; 24(5):447-53.

Written by: healthplus24.com team

Date last updated: December 09, 2014