Baden-Württemberg: Depression can trigger a heart attack like being overweight

Anyone who smokes, who eats too much or who stresses themselves too much weakens their heart.

Baden-Württemberg: Depression can trigger a heart attack like being overweight

Anyone who smokes, who eats too much or who stresses themselves too much weakens their heart. However, this also applies to people who suffer from depression or anxiety. Another study shows that this is also having a negative impact on the economy.

Stuttgart (dpa / lsw) - Every or every sixth employee in Baden-Württemberg has an increased risk of heart attack because he or she suffers from depression, is afraid or stressed, for example. The equivalent of almost one million people in Baden-Württemberg have at least one psychological risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, said the DAK-Gesundheit based on their health report 2022. Other factors include smoking, high blood pressure or being overweight. According to the health insurance company, around 27,000 people die every year in Baden-Württemberg from a cardiovascular disease.

The role of stress and mental illness as a risk for heart attacks is often underestimated, said DAK country head Siegfried Euerle on Wednesday. "Depression and negative stress are already a great burden in themselves. But they also literally go to the heart." According to experts, the risk of a heart attack in depression is similar to that of being overweight.

In addition, according to the study, people who are depressed, anxious or stressed often also have other behavioral or physical risk factors. These people smoke more often, for example - high blood pressure is also much more common among them, as the data shows. "There is a striking interaction between the psyche and the heart," Euerle warned.

But that's not all, because stress, smoking, obesity or depression are also an enormous economic factor: According to the DAK, there are 44 days of absence for every 100 insured persons due to cardiovascular diseases - more for men and less for women. The number of days absent increases significantly with age. Men between the ages of 45 and 49 miss 54 days per 100 insured persons, while their colleagues ten years their senior have 130 days. Companies must keep an eye on and protect stress, strain and the mental and physical health of their employees, Euerle demanded.

According to the health insurance company, the IGES Institute evaluated the data of around 280,000 employed DAK-insured persons for the DAK health report. In addition, the Forsa Institute for DAK health surveyed more than 1000 employees in Baden-Württemberg.

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