About 18 percent of patients who suffer a heart attack develop major depressive disorder in the year after the attack. Now, new research suggests that women are more vulnerable to\u00a0depression as well as anxiety after a heart attack. Depression is a major predictor of quality of life, overall disability, and even survival following a heart attack. Patients with depression are nearly six times more likely to die within six months after a heart attack than those without depression. Read on to learn about the findings of research that shows the link between heart attacks and depression. Additionally, learn more about how Lucida Treatment Center can help you treat depression after a heart attack. Average Depression and Anxiety Scores Higher for Women Researchers use the HADS scale to evaluate the severity of depression and anxiety in patients. The HADS scale is as follows: \t0 to 7 on the HADS scale indicates no depression or anxiety \t8 to 10 indicates possible depression or anxiety \t11 or higher indicates mild to moderate depression or anxiety Nearly one-quarter of the patients in this study had mild to moderate symptoms of depression and anxiety. Overall, the average HADS depression score for the male subjects in this study was 6.87. The average HADS depression score for the female subjects was 8.66. The average score for anxiety among the men was 7.18. Additionally, the average score for anxiety among women was 8.20. The researchers also discovered a strong correlation between smoking and higher levels of anxiety. Among the 15.6 percent of the study participants who were regular smokers, the average anxiety score was 10.16. Additionally, the average anxiety score for patients who used to smoke but quit at least two years ago was lower (4.55) than the score for patients who had never smoked (7.3). Depression More Likely Among Less Physically Active Patients Researchers also learned that physical activity was associated with lower depression scores among the patients in the study. Also, patients who do not exercise daily had an average depression score of 8.96. Research shows that exercise causes more positive moods and lower stress among the general population. Therefore, this information is not necessarily surprising. However, among patients recovering from a heart attack, increasing physical activity could have an even greater positive effect on mood because patients will know that more exercise decreases their chances of a future heart attack. Therefore, when seeking a treatment center for depression and mental health issues, it is important to choose a facility that emphasizes the importance of both mental and physical health. At Lucida Treatment Center, we help strengthen your mental health through individual therapy. To improve your physical health, we will teach you how to incorporate exercise into your treatment program. Depression and Anxiety Often Untreated in Heart Attack Patients, Especially Women Although depression and anxiety are serious risks for patients in recovery after a heart attack, the conditions often go unnoticed and untreated. This is largely because the life-threatening nature of a heart attack tends to overshadow problems that are not directly related to cardiac health. However, because depression can have such a serious effect on both the quality of life and the chance of full recovery after a heart attack, it is critically important to screen patients for mental health problems during the first year after a heart attack. The data from this study suggests that female patients, in particular, should seek treatment if they also suffer from depression or anxiety. Additionally, patients will decrease their risk of anxiety and depression if they seek help to quit smoking. Patients should also get more regular exercise. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression or anxiety after a heart attack, contact Lucida Treatment Center at for help. Our staff and professionals are ready to help you.