Depression and coronary artery disease: The association, mechanisms and therapeutic implications

Imran Shuja Khawaja, Joseph J. Westermeyer, Prashant Gajwani, Robert E. Feinstein

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

104 Scopus citations


We performed a comprehensive review of the literature to determine whether or not a relationship between depression and coronary artery disease exists. Our literature search supports the following: Depression and coronary artery disease have a bidirectional relationship, i.e., coronary artery disease can cause depression and depression is an independent risk factor for coronary artery disease and its complications; depression may contribute to sudden cardiac death and increase all causes of cardiac mortality; and depression contributes to unhealthy lifestyle and poor adherence to treatment. We review various pathophysiological links between depression and coronary artery disease and screening for depression in at-risk patients for coronary artery disease. We also discuss pharmacological treatments, their implications, and various behavioral treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 19 2009



  • Antidepressant medications
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Depression
  • SSRIs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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