The mechanisms by which antidepressants may reduce coronary heart disease risk

Marc J. Mathews, Edward H. Mathews, Leon Liebenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Depression is known to increase therisk for coronary heart disease (CHD) likely through various pathogenetic actions. Understanding the links between depression and CHD and the effects of mediating these links may prove beneficial in CHD prevention. Methods: An integrated model of CHD was used to elucidate pathogenetic pathways of importance between depression and CHD. Using biomarker relative risk data the pathogenetic effects are representable as measurable effects based on changes in biomarkers. Results: A 'connection graph' presents interactions by illustrating the relationship between depression and the biomarkers of CHD. The use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is postulated to have potential to decrease CHD risk. Comparing the 'connection graph' of SSRI's to that of depression elucidates the possible actions through which risk reduction may occur. Conclusions: The CHD effects of depression appear to be driven by increased inflammation and altered metabolism. These effects might be mediated with the use of SSRI's.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number82
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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