Psychological factors both depression and anxiety do confer a significant risk for CAD. However, a distinction must be made between risk factors and triggers. It is highly likely, depression has more consistent correlation with chronic CAD than anxiety.
Primary anxiety per-se is of less of a risk factor for chronic CAD, while it can still be a trigger for cardiac events. (when it occurs over heightened baseline risk) Primary depression increases the CAD risk many fold by slowing the system making it sedentary and promote endothelial dysfunction, which is the key promotor of atherogenic CAD.
It is also noted, anxiety is less associated with obesity (when compared to depression). Further,catecholamine fluctuations that are so common in anxiety states may act like an exercise equivalent ( It’s my quirky hypothesis to be tested by future generations)
Emotions have a complex equation with neuro cardiac axis .Sudden emotional deaths due to possible arrhythmias or stress cardio-mypathies are important areas for research.
Sharing my presentation in one of the Annual physiologists conference held at Chennai in 2016.
Topic: Emotional Triggers in ACS
Click here fro PDF version of the presentation