Turning up the heat: Inflammation as a mechanism linking chronic stress, depression, and heart disease

Gregory E. Miller*, Ekin Blackwell

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Mounting evidence indicates that chronic stressors and depressive symptoms contribute to morbidity and mortality from cardiac disease. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms responsible for these effects or about why depressive symptoms and cardiac disease co-occur so frequently. In this article we outline a novel model that seeks to address these issues. It asserts that chronic stressors activate the immune system in a way that leads to persistent inflammation. With long-term exposure to the products of inflammation, people develop symptoms of depression and experience progression of atherosclerosis, the pathologic condition that underlies cardiac disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-272
Number of pages4
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Volume15
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

Keywords

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Depression
  • Inflammation
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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